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Senior Policy Analyst


Washington, DC

Employer:  The National Council on Teacher Quality
Category:  Research
Job Type:  Full Time



The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is currently seeking a Senior Policy Analyst to help lead NCTQ's policy research and stakeholder engagement to ensure that every student has access to effective and diverse teachers.

We seek a results-oriented, passionate candidate who is deeply familiar with K-12 teacher policy, skilled at synthesizing quantitative and policy data to determine broad policy implications, writes to catalyze positive change, and adept at engaging practitioners and policymakers to deepen impact. The individual right for this role will have a strong commitment to and demonstrated results in advancing educational equity.

Organization Description

NCTQ is on a mission to ensure every child has access to an effective teacher and that every teacher has the opportunity to become effective. Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the core of our work. Only when we ensure that students who have been long underserved by our systems—including students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities and multilingual learners—have equitable access to strong teachers and great instruction will we begin to dismantle the inequities that otherwise pervade their educational experiences.

We work toward this mission by engaging three actors with the greatest influence over teacher quality: districts, states, and teacher preparation programs. We advocate for smart policies grounded in data, and we champion those who are leading the way. NCTQ has a networked action strategy that leverages multiple stakeholders (education leaders, policymakers, and advocates at the state and national levels) to ensure our research leads to action and improves student learning.

As an equal opportunity employer, we seek to hire staff that bring diverse perspectives and experiences. Our work is dynamic and fast-paced, and our staff is passionate. This position is 100% remote—just like the entire NCTQ office. There is some travel involved, including a minimum of four in-person staff retreats per year.

Job Summary

The Senior Policy Analyst will play a pivotal role in leading projects across state and district policy to accelerate NCTQ's impact. They will analyze policy data from a variety of sources, identify key findings, and communicate policy trends through a variety of mediums (such as NCTQ's seminal State of the State reports, data briefs, webinars, and blog posts). Over the next few years, NCTQ will expand our longitudinal state policy database to include new key policy areas, and the Senior Policy Analyst will help lead this work. For example, they will dig into analyzing barriers and opportunities presented by state policy in reimagining the teacher role, and use the findings to influence change on the ground.

As NCTQ aims to drive change in policy and practice at the local level, the Senior Policy Analyst will also work with external stakeholders across multiple projects. For example, this person will lead targeted outreach to states and advocates to support policies and practices that will help sustain the implementation of scientifically-based reading instruction. External engagement will include roles such as facilitating advisory committees and conducting focus groups, as well as asynchronous engagement (e.g., designing, implementing, and analyzing surveys or soliciting feedback from partners during the development of products).

Core Responsibilities

  • Conduct Analysis and Make Sense of Data: Analyze data (state and district policy), determine key findings, and create data visualizations to synthesize large amounts of data into digestible information.
  • Develop Written Products: Develop succinct and clearly written work products that may vary in length (blog post, state-specific brief, or detailed report) but that always drive towards impact (i.e., what can a district, state, or advocate do to make a difference for teachers and students?).
  • Provide Technical Assistance: Use NCTQ's resources to respond to technical assistance requests from state policymakers, advocacy organization staff, and districts across various teacher policy areas to drive positive impact.
  • Support Advocates/Policymakers in the Field and Track Progress Towards our Policy Impact Goals: Advise state advocates and policymakers through strong written and verbal communication on various teacher quality issues, such as providing research or data to help build capacity or recommending how they may advocate for a particular change (e.g., identifying state policies to support scientifically-based reading instruction given their local policy context).
  • Conduct External Engagement: Participate as NCTQ's representative with key partners. Lead external engagement opportunities such as advisory panels; conduct focus groups, webinars, etc. to learn from and with the field to advance NCTQ's mission and work streams.

Required Qualifications

  • 3 or more years of professional experience in education policy
  • Evidence of experience conducting data analysis and education policy analysis that made an impact
  • Excellent communication skills – writing, speaking, listening, advising – and political savvy
  • Ability to engage stakeholders with demonstrated positive outcomes (e.g., excellent presentation and facilitation skills, capacity to build relationships with state policymakers and state advocates, among others, etc.)
  • Evidence of having well-managed projects against high-standards of quality, timeliness, and with demonstrated positive outcomes
  • Proficiency in Excel a must; comfort with other quantitative data software and analysis programs (e.g. PowerBI, Tableau, R) is a plus
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting equitable access to effective teachers for all students

Attributes of a successful candidate

  • Team player: As a small organization, NCTQ thrives when we work together as a team to complement each other's strengths, promote dialogue and discussion around our work products to make them better, and generate solutions and ideas together.
  • Creative and solutions oriented: Is able to zero in on the essence of a problem and devise imaginative and feasible solutions.
  • Analytic skills: Ability to do basic functions/formulas in Excel; experience in conducting policy analysis.
  • Extremely organized & strong project management skills: Builds short term and long term project timelines and stays on top of multiple projects, plans backwards, anticipates obstacles, identifies and involves stakeholders appropriately, and uses resources wisely; tracks and manages multiple streams of communication (technical assistance, state outreach, etc.) with attention to detail and audience.
  • Critical Thinker: Sees both the forest and the trees; is interested in finding the nuance in the details of the data and conducting complex analyses without losing sight of the overall policy implications.
  • Savvy written and verbal communicator: Listens to both internal and external colleagues and stakeholders, applies their feedback and develops clear and evidence-based messages.
  • Constant Learner: Takes and uses feedback to continuously improve themselves as well as our processes , products and ultimately, our impact.
  • Demonstrates belief in educational equity and excellence for all students.

Salary and Benefits

We offer competitive compensation commensurate with experience and an attractive benefits package including full health care coverage, paid vacation, wellness days, and retirement matching contribution policy.

Our remote work environment is bolstered by virtual and in-person opportunities to connect. We hold bi-weekly staff meetings, social gatherings (remote and in-person), and quarterly in-person retreats to keep our team connected and thriving. We offer stipends to assist with office supplies and cell/internet expenses.

To Apply

To apply, please submit materials via our online application system by October 15, 2023. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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