Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third-largest school district in the United States, serving over 360,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission, we make three commitments to our students, their families, and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments - student-centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership, and continuous learning.
The School Development & Authorization Manager serves a critical role in the Chicago Public School's Office of Innovation and Incubation (I&I). As the authorizing designee for The Chicago Board of Education, I&I authorizes, manages and supports a portfolio of 129 charter, contract, and options schools and programs serving over 60,000 students.
Reporting to the Director of School Development, the Authorization Manager designs and oversees Chicago Public School's application and evaluation processes that authorize, renew, replicate, and expand high performing school models and programs. The School Development & Authorization Manager's responsibilities include, but are not limited to: developing, editing, producing, and leading the annual authorization process; managing the process to amend agreements; and ensuring an evidence-based assessment of the district's authorization processes that includes internal and external subject matter experts.
The School Development & Authorization Manager will also assist in the development of best practices for both district and charter school incubation, with protocols and policies aimed at improving authorization, such as Board governance policies and legislative amendments, and student application and enrollment policies.
The School Development & Authorization Manager will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:
- Designing and implementing best-in-class new school development processes;
- Leading and/or assisting with the execution of all annual authorizing processes (RFP, and charter amendment processes);
- Organizing and managing a transparent, all-inclusive evaluation process for incoming proposals;
- Leading communication and support collaboration between multiple internal and external stakeholders related to the establishment and support of the new school development process;
- Assist with planning, communication, and support for annual Academic Focus RFP process designed to increase equity of access to academic programming across the city, and aligning the same to the district's portfolio vision.
- Assisting with the creation of board reports, briefing materials, and management of timeline for all authorization related actions requiring Board of Education approval;
- Partnering with the Director of School Development and the Innovation & Incubation team to ensure alignment across I&I's strategic plan and alignment to the Office of Portfolio Management's vision for the district, and shared understanding of challenges and opportunities;
- Designing and manage recruitment initiatives for attracting innovative models and operators to Chicago;
- Identifying areas where adjusting the authorization approach/focus could improve the city's school choice offerings and lead to better outcomes for students and families; and
- Ensuring that all authorizing practices are developed with customer service in mind.
In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the School Development & Authorization Manager must possess the following qualifications:
Type of Education Required:
- Bachelor's Degree (Master's in Policy, Education are preferred)
Type of Experience and Number of Years:
- 3+ years of project management experience, particularly on efforts involving multiple internal and external stakeholders
- Experience working for a school district or education-related agency desired
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Strong analytical, organizational, interpersonal, and diplomacy skills
- An understanding of modern management practices (policy and procedures), methods, and techniques related to charter school operations, small businesses, or non-profit organizations.
- An understanding of the principles and practices of operating budget formulation, evaluation, and administration.
- Strong communication skills, including developing external communication documents for a wide range of audiences and effectively addressing stakeholder concerns and inquiries
- An understanding of the charter school authorization process
- The ability to analyze, synthesize and interpret complex data
- Successful experience in planning and implementation of projects that engage parents, community members, students, and other external stakeholders
- Is flexible, and can function effectively in ambiguity
- Is astute and keenly aware of the interests and motivations of others, and acts with integrity in a politically-charged environment
- The ability to receive, internalize and respond to feedback from department leadership, manager, colleagues, and external partners
As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of their CPS hire date and must maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.