The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is the State Education Agency for the District of Columbia. OSSE is charged with raising the quality of education for all DC residents. OSSE is focused on sustaining, accelerating, and deepening the progress being made for the District’s 90,000+ students. OSSE serves as the District’s liaison to the U.S. Department of Education and works closely with the District’s 470+ early childhood facilities, 250+ schools, 60+ local education agencies (including DCPS and charter organizations), and community-based organizations to provide critical programming and resources to our stakeholders.
Challenge & Opportunity
The District of Columbia is the fastest improving state in the nation in terms of academic achievement, as measured by the Nation’s Report Card. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools for in-person learning for a long period of time, threatening these hard-fought gains. Now, OSSE seeks to move the District’s education system from recovery to restoration. This requires a coordinated, comprehensive response to the new realities we confront in public education in the District. This role is critical in developing and sustaining that response.
Reporting directly to the Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent for Academics will be responsible for ensuring that the District meets its long-term goals as outlined in the District’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan. To accomplish these goals, the Deputy Superintendent will build a comprehensive and integrated strategy of policies and supports with the goal of strengthening student academic achievement across schools in the District of Columbia for students from pre-Kindergarten to college and career. A strong strategy will effectively align the following key levers: content standards, meaningful assessments, educator preparation and support, grant funding, monitoring, and school improvement. The Deputy Superintendent will need to ensure that this strategy includes a deep focus on improving outcomes for special populations of students with special emphasis on students with disabilities, students that are at-risk, and justice involved youth. Further, the strategy should respond to the pressing need to ensure that classroom instruction is responsive to workforce opportunities, so students can receive relevant and rigorous instructional opportunities that puts them on the path to college and careers. The Deputy Superintendent for Academics will need to ensure that team structures, processes, and culture are set up for success and align federal and local grants under their purview to implement the strategy and hit our long-term goals.
The Deputy Superintendent of Academics is the leader, spokesperson, and resident expert on instruction for the agency and is responsible for developing a short- and long-term instructional vision for the District. The Deputy Superintendent for Academics will oversee and coordinate the following functional divisions in the agency to execute the agency’s academic strategy: Systems and Supports, K12, Teaching & Learning, Postsecondary & Career Education. Each of these divisions are led by an Assistant Superintendent. Each of these leaders’ portfolios are described in greater detail below.
Systems & Supports, K12
The Division of Systems & Supports K12 is responsible for administering federal grant programs intended to support academic achievement and school improvement in accordance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In addition, the division provides federal funding, monitoring, supports, and interventions to ensure that local education agencies both comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and improve outcomes for students with disabilities – a strategic priority for the agency. The division supports continuous education for special populations and in special settings, including nonpublic schools and correctional facilities.
Teaching & Learning
The Division of Teaching and Learning supports improved instructional practice for the District’s educators in both public and public charter schools. The division oversees educator preparation and licensure and works with local education agencies to provide the tools and supports necessary to hire and retain high quality educators and school leaders while paying special attention the equitable distribution of effective teachers. The division also provides trainings and curricular supports across academic content areas and additional supports to better improve instructional practices for special populations of students including students with disabilities and English Language Learners. Further, the division is implementing many of the agency’s recovery efforts aimed at responding to the need to recover from lost instructional time during the pandemic.
Postsecondary & Career Education
The Division of Postsecondary & Career Education oversees a wide array of programs to support increased access and success in post-secondary education and careers. This includes significant financial aid programs offered through the agency like DCTAG and new federal recovery efforts aimed at lowering the financial barriers for students to attend postsecondary education. Further, the division aims to expand career and technical education and educational opportunities for adults throughout the District. Finally, the division focuses on efforts to reengage disconnected learners at all phases of life through the DC Reengagement Center and Adult and Family Education.
Key qualifications for Deputy Superintendent of Academics:
- Master’s or Doctoral degree in a relevant field including education, public policy/administration, or business;
- 10 plus years of relevant experience; including 5 or more years in school administration, preferably in an urban school district;
- Proficiency in federal grant processes and management, federal school improvement requirements, as well as special education law;
- A clear track record of driving school improvement at scale, eliminating disparities in achievement and increasing opportunities for students;
- Experience managing senior executives;
- Significant experience with leading strategy development and implementation in the public sector whether in education or government;
- Excellent written and oral communications skills – someone who can craft and deliver strategic communications intended to lead, inspire, persuade and translate complex technical information into business and mission terms;
- Excellent problem-solving, planning, and strategic thinking skills;
- Demonstrated customer service mindset; and
- Commitment to OSSE’s Core Values and to diversity, equity and inclusion
Our ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:
- Unquestionable integrity;
- A passion for leadership, and the grit and enthusiasm needed to set, meet, and exceed ambitious goals;
- Commitment to precision, detail, and high-quality results;
- A life-long learner with the desire and ability to climb new learning curves quickly;
- Great instincts for gauging the relative urgency versus importance of any given issue;
- An ability to effectively collaborate and communicate with a broad set of internal and external stakeholders, and for managing people and organizational politics;
- A supportive, engaging, and approachable management style;
- Good humor, adaptability, and resilience in the face of competing and evolving priorities;
- A desire to receive feedback for oneself and a willingness to be generous with feedback for others; and
- A thirst to look to for creative solutions— ideally pushing themselves, their teams, and their colleagues to do better every day
Interested applicants should email their resume to [email protected].
Subject line must include the position title and your first and last name.
(Example: Deputy Superintendent of Academics – Jane Doe)