Senior Manager, Research and Policy

San Francisco Bay Area
Research and Policy – Research and Policy
Full-time, Permanent
Do you want to use your superb policy, research, data analysis, and visualization skills to strengthen parent-led campaigns to advocate for great public schools in their communities?

Do you have experience working with California education data and want to use it to increase educational equity across the Bay Area?

Do you have high standards for the quality of the data and enjoy creatively translating data for a non-analyst audience into tangible tools for community organizers and parent leaders?

Are you a skilled project manager and a collaborative relationship-builder who is able to manage up, down, and sideways with different people and teams across the organization to ensure that complex projects advance in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment?

Are you excited about the prospect of creating new systems and improving existing ones to help a growing organization realize its larger vision?

Join “the People’s Research Team” at Innovate Public Schools as our Senior Manager, Research and Policy!
Use your education research, data analysis, project management, and relationship-building skills to play a key role for a dynamic, growing nonprofit that has become a respected source of research and analysis in the Bay Area and across the state and country.

The Senior Manager, Research and Policy, will play a pivotal role in providing critical research and data support to our local, parent-led campaigns in Bay Area school districts by creating external reports and data products that are easy to understand, move people to action, and meet the highest standard for data integrity. This person must be an excellent oral and written communicator. Because our largest target audience (parents) often has relatively little technical expertise, it is important that the Research and Policy Senior Manager is able to handle and analyze large data sets, and report out the data-driven findings, and communicate policy implications in a way that is accessible and easy to understand.

This position will be based in one of our offices located in the San Francisco Bay Area, with one day of the week in the other office and regular travel throughout the Bay Area to campaign-related meetings and events. This position will join a regional, cross-functional team of community organizers, a communications strategist, and a experienced school leader. This position will also support our organization-wide database management work and other Research and Policy team priorities. This position reports to the Regional Vice President.

About Innovate Public Schools
Innovate Public Schools is a nonprofit organization focused on improving public schools in the Bay Area and Los Angeles to make sure that all students - especially low-income students and students of color - have access to schools that will prepare them for success in college, careers, and life. We’re building a movement of families, educators, and business and elected leaders who together will make this vision a reality. We build the capacity of parents and educators to innovate and act together to create world-class public schools..

We publish easy-to-understand data and research to inform the public about which schools are excelling, which ones are struggling, and where to find solutions that work. We work with educators from both school districts and charter schools to start excellent new public schools and redesign chronically low-performing schools. And we support and empower parents in high-need communities so they can effectively advocate for better schools and sustain community efforts over the long term.

Check out our website to learn more about our Research and Policy work!

Compensation depends on experience and is highly competitive. Innovate offers very generous benefits including health and dental insurance, 20 days paid time off per year (increasing to 25 after 2 years of employment), two floating holidays, 14 paid fixed holidays per year (including office closure between Dec 24th - New Year’s Day), and 5% employer contribution to 401k.

Job Responsibilities

    • Inform and equip parents in the Bay Area with useful, high-impact data and policy analyses relevant to the quality of public schools across the region.
    • Partner with parents and community organizers to develop campaign goals that are informed by research and data and help build others’ knowledge of district-level policy options and implications.
    • Oversee the management of internal database and provide supervision and quality checks on the Research and Policy team’s data management process from start to finish (data collection, downloading, cleaning, formatting, etc.)
    • Analyze federal, state, and district data and policy issues that may help to identify barriers faced by districts and public schools to developing and sustaining high-quality schools for all students.
    • Create written and digital/online reports (including blog posts) and prepare presentations, when necessary, on student achievement and public education issues in the region designed for various diverse audiences, including parents (particularly low-income parents), the media, business leaders, school districts, and the broader community.
    • Support other organizational priorities, as defined by the Regional Vice President, given the flexibility required of all staff in a relatively small and fast-paced organization.
    • Travel frequently within the Bay Area, with occasional evening parent meetings and events.


    • Master's degree required, with preferred focus in education, statistics, public policy, social sciences, or other related fields.  
    • 5+ years of experience in data analysis (quantitative and qualitative), data visualization, and research related to the public education field. Experience analyzing state- and district-level student achievement data and familiarity with California education data and policy landscape are strongly preferred.
    • Expertise in a statistical software package is required (STATA preferred).
    • Strong and clear written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to make complicated topics understandable, relevant and actionable to a non-expert audience.
    • Large database management experience required.
    • Ability to work in a constantly changing environment, requiring flexibility, self-motivation, self-directed problem-solving, collaborative work style, drive toward results, and enthusiasm.
    • Values, respects, and thrives in diverse and cross-cultural work environments, and is aligned with our commitment to maintaining an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-harassment workplace.
    • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to create positive, trusting, professional relationships with colleagues.
    • Alignment with and demonstration of Innovate’s core values (excellence, urgency, and integrity) in work performance, particularly in handling and managing data, responding to information needs of parent-led campaigns, and providing sound and meaningful analyses of data and policy in support of Innovate’s mission and goals.
    • A valid driver's license and reliable, insured vehicle (needed to fulfill job requirements).
    • Proof of eligibility to work in the United States.
    • Bilingual Spanish strongly preferred.

Sample “Week In The Life” of the Sr. Manager, Research and Policy:

    • Lead a kick-off meeting with community organizers to scope out the campaign needs and begin to draft a 4-page data brief that the organizing team can use to inform parents and build a stronger base of parents in the parent leadership team.  
    • Join the weekly Research and Policy team meeting to get on the same page with each team member’s workload and priorities across all of the campaigns we support (San Francisco, Mid-Peninsula, San Jose, and Los Angeles).
    • Coordinate with external database contractor on a project plan for downloading and cleaning the 2018-19 CAASPP student outcomes data when it is released by the California Department of Education and ensure data quality and consistency across regions.
    • Navigate the database to export data and run an analysis of English Learners' outcomes in San Francisco Unified.
    • Discuss findings from a report on California’s teacher shortage recently released by a partner organization.
    • Manage communication with officials at the California Department of Education to develop a memorandum of understanding and request and obtain data.
    • Liaise with an external graphic design vendor to communicate feedback that you have systematically collected from multiple staff members on an upcoming data brief.
    • Review and check initial analyses of recently released data on Bay Area A-G rates to check accuracy and identify what additional analyses to run.
    • Edit and provide feedback on the first draft of a research review.
    • Join a meeting led by an Innovate community organizer with 10 parent leaders to get input and feedback on the data and design of a new draft data sheet with equity data on local schools.
    • Respond to an urgent new data request from the organizing team for a district-level analysis related to one of our parent-led campaigns.
    • Strategize with the Research and Policy team on future research topics for exploration and discuss the plan for analyzing and responding to updated state accountability dashboard data coming out the following week.
    • Lead a training session to brief the entire staff on the key findings of a recent report to be publicly released in the next month. Your goal is to help staff from other teams internalize the report, reflect on how they can use it to drive their own work forward and align on larger organizational strategy.
The work environment characteristics and the physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while successfully performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 30 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. 

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the person in this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills.

To Apply: Please submit your resume and a cover letter describing why your knowledge, skills, and background make you the best candidate for the position.

Application deadline: open until filled.

Innovate Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer and takes pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.