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Senior Director, Research and Data Science

Date Posted: May 13, 2022

Job Description

Job Title

Position Title: Senior Director, Research and Data Science                               

Location: Fisher Building

Salary: $85,000 - $115,000

Reports to: Senior Executive Director, Data, Assessment, and Accountability

Bargaining Unit: Non-Union Administrator

Benefits Eligible: Yes

Position Summary:

As a significant member of the Division of Data, Assessment, and Accountability, the Senior works with the senior leaders to support internal and external research activities for the District and leads the Research & Evaluation department, which executes on a rigorous research agenda driven by our District’s Strategic Plan, which includes:

  • Working side-by-side with district leaders to refine the outcomes we target through each of our core operations, programs, and student services,
  • Designing our overall evaluation strategy to ensure we have clear research questions and the right balance between rigorous understanding of our impact and responsive analyses in support of our district and schools,
  • Leveraging coherent, aligned, objective, and efficient frameworks and measurement systems to clearly understand our progress toward outcomes, and
  • Ensuring we draw on the best research literature available to define outcomes and shape our methodology.

In consultation with leaders across the district, the Senior Director develops and oversees the district-wide research agenda, the external research application and approval processes, and external data sharing and reporting, including progress on the district’s strategic plan metrics. The Senior Director and the Research & Evaluation team is also responsible for producing high-value statistical analyses, conducting and support program evaluations, and sharing and promoting research-based ideas and findings throughout the District.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Must possess and provide evidence of a Master’s degree (Ph.D. strongly preferred) from an institution accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or an equivalent higher education agency. Degree in educational research, preferred.
  • At least 5 years of work experience designing and conducting educational research
  • At least 3 years of experience leading effective teams and building positive team culture; past experience managing technical analysts is a plus
  • An understanding of applied statistics, program evaluation and experimental design in the education landscape
  • An understanding of research ethics and legal requirements in educational research, including issues of student data privacy and security
  • Proficiency and extensive experience in R, or another statistical package with interest in learning R
  • Experience working with and manipulating large datasets and maintaining statistical code
  • Demonstrated experience compiling and maintaining technical documentation
  • Experience publishing and presenting research findings and compelling insights for practitioner and technical audiences
  • Strong written and oral communication skills that enable you to work with stakeholders to define requirements and research questions, and to share back findings with both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Experience in SQL and PowerBI is a plus

Essential Functions: 

  1. Set and manage toward ambitious annual objectives and key results for the Research & Evaluation team
  2. Collaborate with senior leaders and practitioners to develop and implement a coherent research agenda that aligns to the strategic plan and advances the District’s understanding of its progress and needs against its priorities
  3. Oversee and continuously improve the research application and data sharing process and experience for external researchers and partners
  4. Design and conduct high-value analyses to support data-driven decision making by school and district leaders; clearly communicate findings and implications
  5. Champion and incentivize research-based action by creating and curating a searchable knowledge base of relevant national and local research for use by stakeholders across the District
  6. Create compelling analyses and descriptive reports on the District’s progress for internal and external audiences
  7. Keep informed of education research innovations, developments in educational research, education policy and K-12 research best practices 
  8. Contribute to the development and implementation of common data science principles across the District; set and maintain a high bar for analysis planning, replicability, quality assurance, data visualization and presentation
  9. Proactively plan and coordinate across school and central office colleagues to deliver shared work products or services on time and at the expected level of quality
  10. Supervise, support, and evaluate the work of Research & Evaluation team members, setting clear expectations and a vision for success that allows others to understand their role
  11. Thoughtfully build the Research & Evaluation team and working culture, ensuring a clarity of purpose, shared responsibility for outcomes and an openness to feedback and diverse points of view; value, solicit and integrate team members’ different perspectives effectively
  12. Anticipate challenges in advance and identify resources needed for the Research & Evaluation team to meet its expected outcomes
  13. Support the development and management of and/or team budget to achieve desired objectives and key results
  14. Perform other duties as assigned by the Senior Executive Director

Security Clearance:

Internal Applicants

If you are a current Detroit Public Schools Community District employee, you do not have to submit to a new security clearance, unless your new role requires a different type of criminal background check.

External Applicants

In alignment with Michigan law, if you are hired to fill a position, you will be required to submit to a Detroit Public Schools Community District criminal background check. Information regarding required background checks will be shared at point of hire.

Method of Application:

Applicants must apply through the online application system. Only applications submitted through the online application system will be considered for any posted position and all applications require a resume to be considered.

All DPSCD employees are required to disclose their vaccine status, however COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged but not required.

Successful candidates are required to submit official transcript(s) at point of offer to hire. Teaching service outside of the Detroit Public Schools Community District must be verified by the applicant's prior employer(s) prior to hire. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide all documentation (including copies) as requested.

Applicants requesting assistance during the application process should contact the Office of Human Resources via email at [email protected] or phone at (313) 873-6897.

DPSCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, age, religion, height, weight, citizenship, marital or family status, military status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected category, in its educational programs and activities, including employment and admissions opportunities. Contact the Civil Rights Coordinator for more information at (313) 240-4377 or detroitk12.org/compliance.

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