Assistant Superintendent – Turnaround Network: School District of Philadelphia

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

The School District of Philadelphia’s Assistant Superintendent for the newly created Turnaround Network will set the vision, direction, and strategic plan to dramatically transform our lowest-performing schools and will be responsible for both the implementation and progress monitoring of the District’s turnaround model. Consistent with the District’s bold Action Plan 3.0, the Assistant Superintendent – Turnaround Network will lead a comprehensive review of the designated turnaround schools to inform strategy development and make adjustments to the turnaround model. The Assistant Superintendent – Turnaround Network has a deep knowledge of evidence-based recuperative models and uses the learning and experience of other turnaround schools to significantly improve student achievement in the Turnaround Network. Included in this work is a focus on creating school environments that enable learning. The Turnaround Network will convene and collaborate with the District’s Renaissance Charter providers to share best turnaround practices. The Turnaround Network will also pilot and scale successful, evidence-based turnaround models in District schools, operated in partnership with external providers.

Quality school leadership contributes significantly to student achievement. In addition to the overall vision-setting and strategic planning for the Turnaround 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 Turnaround 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 to guide continuous improvement of schools is an essential function of this job.

Essential Functions

Turnaround Oversight

  • Sets the vision and strategic plan to turnaround the District’s lowest-performing schools
  • Invests and engages internal and external stakeholders in the vision for turnaround efforts
  • Advocates for the necessary resources to support the turnaround strategies
  • Serves as the District’s expert on turnaround models, effective turnaround programs and implementation strategies
  • Collects, analyzes and uses multiple sources of data to drive continuous improvement of schools
  • Oversee external operators
  • Plans for, creates structures around and uses external operators to support and implement the turnaround strategies
  • Pilots, coordinates and assesses the scalability of city-wide turnaround efforts across District, externally-operated, and charter schools

Instructional Leadership and Talent Management

  • Promotes the District’s high-performing school practices 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, including those used by the District’s Renaissance charter schools, to support the growth and success of District turnaround 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 the turnaround 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 Abilitie

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.

Selection ProcessSelected candidates will participate in an interview process. Please 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).

DisclaimerThe 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.

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.

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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