Assistant Superintendent – Innovation Network: School District of Philadelphia

Posted March 31st, 2015 at 10:27 am.

The School District of Philadelphia’s Assistant Superintendent for the Innovation Network will set the vision, direction, and strategic plan for innovative school models, including the District’s new small, competency-based high schools (The LINC, Building 21, The U School). Consistent with the District’s bold Action Plan 3.0, the District is committed to implementing evidence-based, innovative school models to ensure all students have access to learning environments that meet their needs. The Assistant Superintendent – Innovation Network promotes the design of new schools and leads new school principals through the unique phases of design, start-up, and expansion. The Assistant Superintendent – Innovation Network leads the classroom-by-classroom, school-by-school effort to reform instruction and significantly improve student achievement through innovative approaches to educating students. Included in this work is the management of the New Schools Office. The Assistant Superintendent – Innovation Network is the District’s research and design leader, responsible for identifying and scaling creative ideas that work.

Quality school leadership contributes significantly to student achievement. In addition to the overall vision-setting and strategic planning for the Innovation Network, the Assistant Superintendent primarily focuses on supporting principals’ growth as instructional leaders through direct management and coaching. The Assistant Superintendent promotes high-quality instructional practices; provides instructional leadership direction; and coaches, mentors and supports principals to grow their leadership skills. The Assistant Superintendent is responsible for helping to recruit, select and assign principals for the Innovation Network; supporting differentiated professional growth and resource sharing within the network; and building the leadership capacity of the District. Additionally, the ability to collect, analyze and use multiple sources of data, including research related to the design and implementation of new school models, to guide continuous improvement of schools is an important function of this job.

Essential Functions

Innovative Schools Oversight

  • Sets the vision and strategic plan for the District’s innovation schools
  • Nurtures and advocates on behalf of new schools during the design and start-up phases
  • Invests and engages internal and external stakeholders in innovative school models and educational practices
  • Manages the New Schools Office which is responsible for overseeing the design-phase and incubation of new schools
  • Serves as the District’s expert on innovative school models and new approaches to teaching and learning
  • Creates and sustains a network of national partnerships that contribute ideas and energy to the District’s innovation schools work
  • Facilitates relevant research and evidence-based scaling efforts

Instructional Leadership and Talent Management

  • Promotes the District’s high-performing school practices, as relevant, and ensures the consistent implementation of the practices across all schools
  • Guides and develops principals to provide learning environments that enable every student to achieve
  • Formulates, plans and implements coaching and professional growth practices with assigned principals; observes principal practices, provides feedback and works as the primary coach and supervisor to increase assigned principals’ instructional leadership capacities
  • Supports principals to assess the core competencies that teachers need to implement curriculum, deliver instruction and improve their teaching practices
  • Creates professional learning communities to provide peer feedback, promote innovative thinking and collaborative learning among assigned principals; models effective teamwork and collaboration
  • Coordinates and ensures the successful integration of evidence-based strategies to support the growth and success of all District schools and to scale good ideas
  • Helps to recruit, select and assign principals to appropriate schools
  • Functions as a qualified observer of teachers and principals
  • Develops effective working relationships with principals and school stakeholders

Systems-Level Leadership

  • Provides leadership as a member of a collaborative team to ensure that curriculum and instruction initiatives are aligned with District priorities
  • Ensures the deployment of resources and intervention approaches to appropriately, efficiently and effectively address challenges
  • Ensures the implementation of strategies to meet the District’s performance targets and continuous improvement plans.
  • Responds to constituents’ concerns and serves as the liaison to schools, central offices and community groups on matters related to instruction and school leadership
  • Ensures that all functions and activities are executed in compliance with District policies and professional standards and local, state and federal laws.
  • Communicates clearly with principals, parents and the community about District priorities, school performance and student achievement
  • Uses executive judgment to solve problems and manage crises

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Demonstrated knowledge of:

  • Urban education and driving improvement in student achievement.
  • Using quantitative and qualitative information in an instructional setting to drive decision-making and evaluation.
  • Using systems level information to review, create and monitor school improvement programs and strategies
  • Strong strategic planning, executive leadership and organizational skills.

Demonstrated ability to:

  • Coach and manage others to drive student achievement gains.
  • Work collaboratively to build consensus while also delivering exceptional results.
  • Inspire, manage and collaborate with a wide variety of stakeholders at all levels.
  • Collaborate and build relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Be flexible, resilient and adaptable to changing priorities.
  • Commit to high performance standards and maintain an unwavering belief that all students can excel.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Minimum Requirements

  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in education, educational administration or a related field.


  • Seven years of full-time, paid, educational experience, at least three of which have been in a turnaround school-based administrative or supervisory capacity


  • any combination of prior experience deemed appropriate by The Office of Talent.

• Valid Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility.

Selection Process
Interviews may be conducted to determine how well a candidate meets the established criteria. Note that not all qualified candidates may be selected for an interview. The selected candidate must have no anecdotal record on file and have not been subject to any disciplinary action within the past eighteen (18) months, and have an excellent record of attendance and punctuality during the last three (3) years (defined as no more than eighteen (18) occasions of lateness or absence for personal illness in the last three years (3) years with the exception of one extended long-term absence).

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.

How to apply

Qualified applicants should apply for this position on our application tracking system. Click here to apply. Please note that paper application will not be accepted.

Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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