The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) works to give every child in America’s fifth largest city the opportunity to attend a great school. We invest philanthropic funds in high-impact schools so they can serve more low-income students—whether they be in the traditional public, public charter or private sectors. Our aim is to catalyze the creation or transformation of enough schools to ensure better options for 50,000 students, or nearly one in four of all Philadelphia schoolchildren. Since 2011 PSP has invested in more than fifty schools, creating new educational opportunities for 21,000 students. PSP believes that in a city as large as Philadelphia, there is not one best or right kind of school. Two hundred forty thousand children need a wide variety of schools from which to choose. The city has numerous examples of high-performing schools, and they span all three sectors: charter schools, district schools and private/Catholic schools. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of quality options in each sector. More than 35,000 students sit on waiting lists for the city’s best schools—which include private, charter, district magnet, and district neighborhood schools. Our work centers on leveraging philanthropic capital to attract entrepreneurial leadership and overcome inertia and financial and political barriers so that Philadelphia can have more great schools.
Over the past decade, PSP has been at the forefront of the fight for increased educational opportunities for students and families in Philadelphia:
- PSP’s school investments of over $80M in nearly seventy K-12 schools (district, charter, renaissance and parochial), have led to better schools for tens of thousands of underserved students.
- PSP’s talent investments have supported recruitment and/or development of over 350 teachers and school leaders across the city.
- GreatPhillySchools (GPS) and Apply Philly Charter (APC) have dramatically expanded parents' ability to find and enroll in a school that best meets their children’s’ needs.
Despite this progress, there remain significant challenges in PSP’s fight for increasing educational opportunities for students and families in Philadelphia:
- While 38% of students in Philly are attending a charter and over 50% attend a school of choice of some kind, the overall quality of schools in Philadelphia continues to lag behind other major cities for a variety of reasons.
- The critical work of attracting, launching, and expanding great schools needed to solve this problem has only become harder, and while there are a variety of organizations fighting on the advocacy front, there is no coordinated vision and strategy for how those pieces will come together as a coalition and achieve success.
PSP is the only organization that can lead the work to fight through these challenges and achieve the type of education system in the city that all families deserve: one where there’s access to a great school for every child, regardless of their economic background. To accomplish this, PSP’s next Executive Director must be a leader who can build on the work to date by developing and executing a new strategy to build a citywide coalition that will enable meaningful expansion of high-quality seats throughout the city.
The Executive Director will be a visible and strategic executive with oversight and leadership of all aspects of PSP including strategic planning, operations, finances, fundraising and investments, advocacy, and stakeholder relationships. The Executive Director will bring a track record of leadership and a genuine passion for advancing educational opportunities across the city. It is the expectation that the new Executive Director will:
- Be a Visionary - The next leader of PSP must be a transformational vision-setter, who can first and foremost develop and align with the Board on a clear vision for long-term success with the focus upon ensuring a high-quality educational option for every child in the city.
- Lead a Team to Create and Execute a Strong Strategic Plan - Equally important to setting a clear and bold vision, is the ability of the next PSP leader to transform that vision into a clear strategic plan that can serve as a roadmap to achieving success, and in turn to build and lead a high-quality team that can execute on that plan successfully.
- Create Coalitions and Forge Meaningful Partnerships - Critical to the success of this effort will be recognizing that our work cannot be done alone. It will take a broad and diverse coalition of stakeholders coming together to work towards a common purpose. The next leader must have the ability to develop and execute a strategy that forges partnerships and coalitions at the grassroots and grasstops level and harnesses their collective power to make the changes needed for students and families.
- Engage Local and National Funders in Pursuit of Educational Equity - The Executive Director will drive PSP’s fundraising strategy, including working with the Board to set fundraising goals, directly engaging funders to invest in our mission-critical initiatives, managing the development team, and stewarding PSP’s relationships with the funder community.
- Communicate to Inspire Others - The next PSP leader must be a compelling communicator who can bring together different audiences - from elected officials, to education leaders, to business leaders and funders - to collectively understand the educational challenges facing students and families today and inspire others to join in the effort to create solutions.
The Executive Director reports to PSP’s Board and will manage the PSP team members and staff.
PSP is an equal-opportunity employer with good benefits and an entrepreneurial, results-oriented work culture.
Duties and Responsibilities
External Relations and Fundraising
- Advance PSP’s public brand by serving as an active and magnetic ambassador for PSP’s mission and vision with key stakeholders, including representing PSP locally and across the country.
- With support of the Board, play a central role in fundraising, fostering significant donor relationships, cultivating strategic partnerships.
- Form relationships throughout the Philadelphia region (and beyond) that contribute to enriching and collaborative experiences for Philadelphia students and families.
- In partnership with the Board and key stakeholders, align organization-wide priorities and set an overarching strategic vision for PSP.
- Uphold and support PSP’s commitment to our vision and values by modeling expectations at all times.
- Oversee the development and effective implementation of PSP’s initiatives and core values.
- Set and drive team to aggressive outcomes for the organization directly impacting the quality of educational options for children in Philadelphia.
- Establish and foster a collaborative relationship with the Board, keeping the Board informed of significant issues and events at PSP, collaborating on key projects, and seeking advice and expertise from board members, as appropriate.
Management and Operations
- Serve as the direct manager and partner to the Leadership Team; provide support and guidance around best practices for managing and developing the staff.
- Create and foster a healthy and productive team culture of professional growth and high achievement inside the organization, while maintaining a positive staff morale
- Oversee successful performance management practices to ensure all professional and operational requirements are met.
- Manage an operational budget of $8.7 million, ensuring effective fiscal stewardship and sustainability for the organization.
- Commitment to the mission of PSP and possess a bold vision for how to achieve educational equity for all children in Philadelphia.
- Some experience in direct service to low-income, communities of color and an understanding of the barriers to quality educational options for the families we serve.
- Energy, drive, and passion for continuous improvement, both personally and at an enterprise level.
- A dynamic, proactive, inclusive, open, and decisive leadership style; an entrepreneurial planner and builder rather than a "steady-state" manager.
- Proven commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion both inside organizations and in their approach to education reform
- Ambitious and innovative mindset with a track record of translating strategy into action and delivering results.
- Ability to lead and inspire others to deliver high performance.
- Strong communications skills, both oral and written, with an enthusiasm for the mission of PSP and a passion to develop relationships with stakeholders.
- A strategic and creative thinker with the agility to balance competing priorities, complex situations, and tight deadlines; comfort leading within ambiguity.
- Ability to leverage qualitative and quantitative information in decision-making.
- Proven track record of fundraising and grantmaking.
- Ability and desire to work with a socioeconomically and racially diverse community with the ability to connect and collaborate.
- Demonstrated professionalism and responsibility, and a strong work ethic.
- Flexible attitude, ability to work with urgency.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s or advanced degree is desired.
- Minimum of 10 years of senior leadership experience with oversight across multiple functional areas.
- Experience leading in the K-12 sector in one or more areas of school leadership, education philanthropy, and/or education policy is desired.
- Extensive management experience with a track record of success in leading and sustaining a high-performing organization.
- Experience cultivating partnerships with individuals and institutions across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.
- Experience effectively managing complex budgets and the strategic allocation of resources.
- Track record of success in raising philanthropic dollars and stewarding donor relationships.
Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required such as:
- Traveling to schools – valid driver’s license and/or access to transportation when necessary
- Functioning in office space - reaching file cabinets, filing, faxing, scanning, coping, typing, mailing, making phone calls
- Must be able to sit for up to two hours looking at a computer monitor, using a keyboard/mouse and typing
- Must be able to lift up to 25lbs on a frequent basis
Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
Email cover letter and resume to Molly Farley, Human Resources Consultant, at MFConsultantsLLC@gmail.com.