Our nation’s education system is leaving millions of students—including an overwhelming number of students of color and low-income students—unprepared for college, career, and life. While research shows that classroom teachers are the single most important in-school factor in improving student achievement, their diverse voices are consistently left out of education policy decisions. For far too long, teachers have been treated as subjects of change rather than as agents of change.
Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence (E4E) is a growing movement of 35,000 educators, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education.
What We Do
Our Theory of Change is grounded in two long-term goals that are inextricably linked: better outcomes for our students and the elevation of the quality and prestige of the teaching profession. We achieve these goals by changing policy at the district, state, and federal levels and transforming our teachers’ union to be more student-focused, democratic, diverse, and anti-racist. United around our Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs, we are building a powerful movement to lead this change by:
- Organizing educators who share a common vision of equity and excellence in schools,
- Training and supporting teacher leadership, and
- Advocating for teacher-led recommendations at all levels of government, within teachers’ unions, and in the public conversation around education.
E4E envisions an equitable and excellent education system that provides all students the opportunity to succeed and elevates the teaching profession.
E4E organizes student focused, anti-racist educators, builds their leadership capabilities and collective power through issue-based advocacy campaigns, and supports them to take on positions of leadership in their schools, districts, and most importantly, in their unions. Through E4E, tens of thousands of educators have signed on to a common vision for elevating the teaching profession and improving student outcomes; thousands of teacher members have successfully advocated for and won equity and excellence focused policy changes in their local communities; and hundreds have trained for and taken on positions of elected and appointed leadership in their schools, districts, and unions.
E4E must build on this momentum while pivoting to meet the moment of dramatic crisis facing our students and teachers. We will be guided by the urgent goal of shaping policy solutions to help students, particularly low-income students and students of color, recover from a year of interrupted and unfinished learning, health and social emotional crises, and unrelenting racial trauma. We will do this by organizing and uplifting the collective voices of progressive, anti-racist educators who have also faced significant personal and professional challenges. Recognizing that our work is more urgent and important than ever, we are making strategic investments in our leadership team, infrastructure, and program model to further accelerate our efficacy and impact.
E4E remains committed to our Theory of Change and focus on building power to transform teachers’ unions. Holding significant power and influence at every level of education decision making, unions must be a driving force for social and racial justice. It is essential that teachers’ unions rise to the challenges of radically improving the education system for our students, particularly those who have been impacted by inequitable opportunities, while also elevating the teaching profession and better reflecting the diverse views and interests of their educator members. E4E works to create a more student-focused, anti-racist, democratic teachers’ union that exists as a powerful lever for progress.
E4E seeks a Chief Operations and People Officer (COPO) to collaboratively provide vision and direction across talent and infrastructure teams, positioning E4E as an equity-centered, high-performing, sustainable, and scalable organization. As a member of the Executive Team, the COPO will lead and participate in strategic and financial planning; manage, motivate and mentor senior staff responsible for all internal functions and controls; and anticipate E4E’s talent and infrastructure needs as the organization continues on its rapid growth trajectory – all with an eye for equity and inclusion. Direct reports include the functional leaders overseeing finance, people and equity, operations, and technology.
This position represents an opportunity to drive systemic change in education across the country, including in our nation’s three largest school districts. With chapters in Los Angeles, New York, Connecticut, Chicago, Boston, and Minnesota, our organizing culture is grounded in our passion for impacting educational systems and revolves around an innovative, roll-up-your-sleeves spirit backed by a shared commitment to continuous professional growth.
Scope: What is the nature of the role?
The COPO will serve as a key member of the organization’s Executive Team, and as such enjoy a level of access to and partnership with the Co-CEO that extends both parties’ capacity and allows each to “level up” to the highest and best application of their talents. They will set the direction for and oversee our operations in order to optimize performance and ensure that our systems, infrastructure and talent practices are best in class and consistent with our values. Primary responsibilities include:
- partnering closely with the Co-CEO’s, Board, and other Senior Leadership to set the short and long-term organizational objectives and provide clear direction to help the team achieve E4E’s mission and goals, and
- leading all operational functions of the organization, including the people and equity, finance and accounting, and operations streams;
- stewarding our financial resources, human assets and culture to best execute against our long-term strategic plans and our annual goals.
Finance and Accounting Leadership:
- Leading all aspects of financial and resource planning to include budgeting, forecasting, and cash flow management.
- partnering with local executive directors and national stream leads to build and manage their budgets;
- chairing budget committee meetings, proposing budget adjustments and course corrections as E4E’s financial picture changes;
- reviewing and approving preparation and finalization of monthly and annual financial reporting materials and metrics for E4E’s Co-CEOs and Board of Directors
- Overseeing all accounting and financial operations:
- ensuring fundamental processes like accounts receivable/payable, payroll, benefits administration and monthly accounting closes are executed in an accurate, timely manner;
- preparing for and leading E4E’s annual audit;
- designing and overseeing all risk assessment and internal controls to ensure accurate financial reports and legal/regulatory compliance for a growing, multi-state 501(c)(3);
- managing all financial accounting of E4E lobbying expenditures and possible affiliation and cost-sharing arrangements with a (potential future) sister 501(c)(4) organization.
- Building sustainable and efficient finance and accounting systems
- developing systems, processes, and tools for sharing best financial practices and cost savings within the organization;
- creating organization-wide curricula for training local executive directors, national stream leads, and staff on E4E’s financial systems and procedures;
- continuously sourcing and implementing changes and improvements
People and Equity Leadership:
- leading DEI strategy and initiatives and ensuring that all talent-related systems, infrastructure and practices are designed to be equitable and inclusive, strengthen culture and support retention of top talent
- leading a team of People and Equity Business Partners to effectively recruit, retain, train, support, and evaluate a talented, multi-city, and diverse staff;
- setting and building a mission-driven culture of high expectations, determination, and fun that focuses on quality, results, and service to programmatic leaders;
- setting objectives, establishing priorities, monitoring staff performance, prioritizing development goals, and conducting annual performance reviews;
- overseeing our physical infrastructure operations and maintenance activities to ensure smooth IT and office operations (phone system, security, cleaning, supplies, leases, offices, etc.);
- building a plan and leading the execution to move us to a more flexible and effective organizational physical infrastructure;
- leading E4E’s technology plan, reassessing and continually aligning it to team and program needs;
- developing and managing risk management programs (insurance, legal, compliance)
Qualifications & Requirements
- demonstrated commitment to E4E’s mission
- a track record of leading and supporting DEI strategies and initiatives that are consistent with E4E’s anti-racist values
- ten years or more of senior operating experience, including a track record of financial, talent, and operational management responsibility
- experience building organizational and team capacity to meet current as well as future needs
- experience creating and driving an analytic and financial framework that supports programmatic growth
- proven success collaborating in a multi-disciplinary, diverse, and dynamic team environment;
- strong service orientation and passion about enabling program growth and impact
- technology savvy, including experience working with operations staff to develop and implement new systems and processes
- Bachelor’s degree required, MBA or MPA preferred
- proven track record facilitating sustainable change and development in a high growth environment
- strong track record overseeing, advancing, and integrating a wide range of financial and operational functions to include: talent, finance, accounting, compliance, budgeting, internal and external reporting, technology, and operation
Often works out of the office, with 20% travel (currently virtual due to Covid-19).
E4E chapter locations preferred (New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; St. Paul, MN; Boston, MA; New Haven, CT) but remote applicants should feel free to apply; approximately ~20% travel expected.
Benefits & Applying
Educators for Excellence provides a comprehensive and highly competitive benefits package for all full-time team members. Our benefits extend beyond health care coverage to help provide team members with a work-life balance that includes childcare, wellness initiatives, professional development, retirement savings, and more! See more information about our benefits here.
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Educators for Excellence is an equal opportunity employer.
We predominantly partner with low-income communities of color. Therefore, though race and other identity markers are never used to make final hiring decisions, we place a particular focus on recruiting staff members who share the backgrounds of the communities we serve.
Not ready to apply but interested in learning more about this position?
Thank you for your interest in the Chief Operations & People Officer role.