Senior Director, Academic Equity and Program

EL Education (Formerly Expeditionary Learning)

Published 11 days ago

December 15, 2020
December 15, 2020

Location: Remote



EL Education is a leading K-12 nonprofit helping to build great schools in diverse communities across America. For over 25 years, EL Education has been bringing to life a three-dimensional vision of student achievement that includes mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work. EL Education promotes active classrooms that are alive with discovery, problem-solving, challenge, and collaboration. EL Education drives results: teachers fulfill their highest aspirations and students achieve more than they think possible. EL Education students have both the capacity and the passion to build to a better, more just world. EL Education’s expert educators work with public schools—both district and charter—across 35 states, serving over 200,000 students and 16,000 teachers in our school network and literacy partnerships. Rigorous impact studies by Mathematica Policy Research demonstrate that EL Education’s approach works: teachers significantly improve their craft and students achieve more, regardless of background. Grounded in decades of in-depth work with educators,

EL Education creates highly respected, widely distributed open educational resources, including the following:

  • An acclaimed literacy curriculum that has been downloaded more than 9 million times and received the highest possible ratings from EdReports
  • The world’s largest collection of exemplary student projects
  • Inspiring instructional videos with millions of views
  • Hundreds of free online resources
  • Best-selling education books

EL Education was founded in 1992 by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in collaboration with Outward Bound USA based on the belief that learning and achievement flourish when teachers and students are engaged in work that is challenging, adventurous, and meaningful.


The Senior Director of Academic Equity & Program is a newly created position that will lead EL Education’s programmatic strategy as we continue to focus on racial equity, eradicating institutional racism and eliminating opportunity gaps. The Senior Director will oversee the program design team and provide strategic leadership in establishing a clear roadmap of products and services to support excellent and equitable students and educators outcomes. This role will also identify, showcase and scale best practices in schools and districts who have been successful in eliminating achievement gaps. Our ideal candidate is a leader that has a passion for change leadership, works effectively in multicultural settings and demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for the deep capabilities of diverse sets of students and staff.

If you are excited about working alongside talented educators to help students do more than they think is possible, this role is an opportunity to have a substantial impact.


Academic Equity Leadership

  • Lead cross-team efforts to further embed equity into EL’s core academic and instructional model
  • Convene the newly created internal Instructional Council (academic decision-making body)
  • Lead efforts to identify opportunities to strategically evolve and/or revise core elements of academic model
  • Oversee the process for auditing and refining EL’s core instructional frameworks (core practices, quality work protocols, etc.) with an equity and anti-racist lens
  • Establish strategy and vision for Program development to achieve impact for students across EL Education’s Three Dimensions of Student Achievement (Master of Knowledge and Skills, Character and High Quality Work).
  • Lead project initiatives in support of EL Education’s long-term strategic plan (Advancing Equity in K-12 Education)

Program Design & Development

  • Establish a clear, responsive and strategic Program development roadmap aligned to the core academic model and the organization’s goals
  • Identify and implement a research-based design thinking methodology to develop, pilot and launch new programs and resources for external partners in schools and districts
  • Evolve and innovate programmatic services and resources aligned to the core EL instructional model; ensure that the progression of services leads to access to a credential for partners and disrupts historical patterns of inequitable outcomes for students
  • Leverage data and partner feedback loops to ensure EL’s program services and resources map to external partner and community needs
  • Ensure that initiatives for EL Education partnership team staff are coordinated and integrate both academic content and instructional strategies, and vision for student outcomes (e.g. Universal Design for Learning, culturally and linguistically relevant pedagogy, three dimensions of student achievement)
  • Study and apply internal and external research/data to evolve and improve professional development design quality and effectiveness
  • Lead EL Education’s annual National Conference programmatic design; partner with cross-functional planning committee to host and facilitate event
  • Ensure high-quality content of the programmatic resources (print and digital) in collaboration with internal teams (Communications, legal, publications, curriculum, etc.); including focus on monitoring intellectual property issues
  • Leverage and integrate various capacities of the national organization (e.g. program, research, marketing, finance, development) to support partners and EL Education staff

Change Leadership & Capacity-Building

  • Build capacity across the organization around its ability to disrupt cycles of inequities, in partnership with Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Diversity/Organizational Effectiveness. Responsibilities include:
  • Cultivate a commitment among partnership staff to enable all students to achieve high standards
  • Confront preconceptions, actively address systemic racism and bias; model open dialogue around race, culture, class and gender identity
  • Operate with a lens of cultural proficiency, sensitivity, and equity; identify opportunities to infuse this approach into ongoing routines for partnership staff team
  • Play key role in the development of annual staff development professional learning plan, in collaboration with the staff development planning team
  • Ensure that EL Education partnership team staff receive on-going professional learning in curriculum, instruction, continuous improvement and diversity, equity and inclusion

Fiscal Management

  • Partner with the Finance team to determine pricing and forecast revenues/expenses for budget purposes.
  • Serve as grant budget owner for specific grant-funded initiatives.
  • Manage and monitor operational budget for the team.

Talent Management

  • Lead, coach and develop a diverse team of staff, including responsibility for annual performance management process, ongoing 2-way feedback and career development conversations.
  • Recruit, hire and onboard staff with effective and differentiated orientation plans
  • Participate in ongoing talent management and bench building activities in partnership with Human Resources

Other Responsibilities as assigned

Estimated travel: 30% on average

(examples of travel may include: in-person meetings with potential school/district partners, delivery of professional development, internal team meetings, internal leadership meetings with colleagues, select industry conferences to promote EL Education’s awareness, etc.)


Commitment to

  • EL Education’s approach to teaching and learning, including EL Education’s three dimensional vision of student achievement (Master of Knowledge and Skills, Character and High Quality Work)
  • Leveraging this role to identify and disrupt patterns of inequity within districts and schools

Work Experience

  • 7+ years of demonstrated effectiveness in leading, managing, and building capacity of high-performing teams
  • 5+ years of demonstrated experience in successfully designing and delivering high quality professional learning
  • Strong knowledge of creating an evidence-based culture of continuous learning
  • Experience in leading complex conversations and professional learning about race, diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Experience addressing the needs and assets of marginalized student populations
  • Demonstrated capacity to partner with diverse individuals and organizations across the educational and equity landscape
  • Experience as a school, district or state level leadership role, preferred
  • Experience with deep community engagement initiatives, preferred


  • Ability to work effectively with educators of all backgrounds, particularly in larger urban settings.
  • Ability to navigate complex systems and political landscapes, including successfully dealing with ambiguity to achieve desired outcomes/goals, as needed
  • A drive to think strategically to solve challenging educational issues.
  • Exceptional abilities to build relationships, forge alliances and garner trust.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills (including group facilitation skills)
  • Excellent organizational skills and project management capacities
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
  • A commitment to respecting and increasing diversity through inclusive practices
  • Ability to create and implement innovative solutions to address systemic educational issues
  • A growth mindset for the students, teachers and classrooms they serve – and most of all for him or herself.


  • Master’s degree in education, educational leadership, professional learning/design or related field, strongly preferred

We strongly encourage diverse candidates to apply


We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a wide variety of benefits, including paid-time-off, 403b match, maternity/paternity leave, medical/dental/vision insurance, etc.


Please apply online at in the Careers section. No phone calls please. Thank you.


EL Education seeks individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization and want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. EL Education provides equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees and prohibits discrimination with respect to the hiring or promotion of individuals, conditions of employment, disciplinary and discharge practices, or any other aspect of employment on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, disability, or any other factor which cannot lawfully be used as a basis for an employment decision. EOE VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Location: Remote



EL Education is a leading K-12 nonprofit helping to build great schools in diverse communities across America. For over 25 years, EL Education has been bringing to life a…

Details at a glance

  • Remote Possible
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Master's Degree Required
  • Professional


247 W 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

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