Career Opportunities

We seek to build a team dedicated to the goal of dramatically improving student achievement, grounded in the belief that children from all backgrounds can succeed when given the opportunities they deserve, and committed to the core values of our department.

Positions at State Special Schools

Full-Time Openings

Chief Assessment Officer

Reports to:

Assistant Commissioner, Data & Research

Location:

Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-0375

The Chief Assessment Officer manages and leads all facets of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) such that results are compiled and delivered for use in state accountability systems, public reporting, and ongoing research studies.  The chief will ensure alignment between TCAP and the Tennessee Academic Standards, in collaboration with the Executive Director of Content & Assessment design, who oversees item development and test design. This position will ensure the technical quality of the assessments to produce valid and reliable results and will set policy related to test administration, processing, data files, scoring, reporting, and other technical matters. This senior leader will plan and coordinate all communications with stakeholders by providing technical assistance to schools, producing assessment publications, and working with other divisions within the Department of Education. The chief has primary responsibility for directing and overseeing contracts and other agreements with assessment vendors and multi-state consortia for the administration of statewide assessments to all students, including TCAP, alternate assessments, second-grade optional assessment, ACT/SAT, NAEP, and ACCESS for ELs. This position will lead contract management which includes budget oversight. The chief also oversees the creation of materials to support professional development to K-12 educators on a range of topics related to test administration including test security, selecting, accommodations, and reporting.  The Chief of Assessment will be knowledgeable of and comply with all assessment-related federal and local statutes, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Tennessee Code Annotated, and State Board of Education policy, rules, and regulations.

Education and Experience:

  • At least five years of experience working with large-scale assessment.
  • At least 12 years of professional work experience, including at least five years of supervisory experience.
  • Master’s degree in related field required.
  • Doctorate degree preferred, but not required.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification preferred, but not required.

Required Knowledge, Abilities and Skills:

  • Strong planning, organization, and project management skills, with the ability to identify numerous dependencies and develop a comprehensive, technical plan of action.
  • Proven leadership and management style embodied by exceptional judgment, courage, and initiative.
  • Results-oriented, hands-on, team player with a demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced, high energy environment while meeting deadlines and completing multiple tasks.
  • Strong critical thinking, analytic, strategic, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in writing and orally.
  • Experience running a large-scale assessment program at the state or large district level.

Responsibilities:

Program Administration

  • Assume ultimate accountability and ownership of delivery of annual TCAP administration in grades 3-11.
  • Develop and manage schedule in coordination with project managers to monitor overall work plan deliverables and timelines, ensure critical operational deadlines are met, and achieve key milestones.
  • Serve as key operational integration manager across all assessment-related work streams to guarantee vendor's on-time and on-specification delivery of assessment contracts annually.
  • Manage all project and personnel activities. Troubleshoot problems and provide technical assistance and/or explicit direction to all test development, operations and psychometric staff.
  • Track risk management activities for the overall program by directing staff in implementing risk mitigation strategies and developing processes that improve and/or ensure quality.
  • Work with advisory committees to ensure TCAP delivery meets all state and district needs.
  • Prepare and deliver project status presentations to a variety of audiences.
  • Communicate project status, issues, and risks to internal and external audiences clearly and concisely, identifying actions needed by district and state leaders.
  • Coordinate work via internal technology platforms through the IT team.

Vendor Management

  • Coordinate with all assessment vendors as necessary to manage risks and schedules.
  • Manage operational assessment change control process across all contracts.
  • Lead internal and external vendor management and operational project management meetings.
  • Use vendor work plan to track progress and forecast risks, and coordinate vendor project management team to create and manage risk mitigation strategies.
  • Work with appropriate staff to manage budgets, oversee contracts, and process invoices.

Team Development and Leadership

  • Mentor and develop assigned staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set clear objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate team results.
  • Promote a positive team culture. Create, communicate, demonstrate, and instill commitment and meaningful contributions toward department goals.
  • Motivate staff to work together to accomplish department goals and ensure practices across unit are consistent with vision and mission.
  • Maintain professional and productive relationships with districts, federal agencies, other external stakeholders, internal stakeholders, and direct reports.
  • Serve on the Division leadership team and support cross division operations. May also serve on Senior Leadership Team (SLT) for Department of Education.
  • Perform other duties as assigned and/or as necessary to achieve strategic objectives.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.

To Apply:

Please e-mail the following to Nakia Towns (Nakia.Towns@tn.gov). While there is no application deadline, applicants will be screened on an ongoing basis.

  • A cover letter describing your interest in this position
  • A writing sample
  • A resume or CV
Contractor, Communications Coordinator

Location:

Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243

Position Description:

The contractor will work full-time as a communications coordinator on the communications team within the office of Commissioner McQueen.

The contractor will be charged with reviewing all communications materials developed by teams across the department of education intended for external audiences, including but not limited to: PowerPoint presentations, emails, memos, newsletters, guidance documents, and user manuals. The contractor will ensure that all materials align with the department’s Style Guide and reflect a high level of professionalism and accuracy. The contractor will also review communication materials through the lens of the department’s main priorities and messages to ensure cross-departmental alignment and consistency.
Additionally, the contractor will utilize strong judgement in order to elevate sensitive materials that should be reviewed by the department’s leadership team.

The contractor will be responsible for crafting at least two external newsletters and maintaining the associated subscriber lists. The contractor will also support department staff members with other newsletters and subscriber lists.

Additionally, the contractor will support the office of the commissioner with ongoing logistics, such as event planning and reimbursements.

Responsibilities:

Communications Review
  • Closely read and edit a wide variety of externally-facing, written communications drafted by staff members across the department to ensure materials are grammatically correct, logically structured, professionally formatted, and appropriately designed for the target audience.
  • Ensure all communications align with the department’s Style Guide.
  • Work with the communications director and department’s leadership team to review and provide feedback on the most sensitive items.
  • Provide thoughtful and detailed feedback to teams on their communications materials within a 48 hour window (with some exceptions for lengthy, complex items that require additional time).
  • Support staff members to revise written communication as needed.
  • Meet in person with staff members and engage in follow-up email conversations about revisions, lingering questions, and suggestions for improvement.
Communications Development
  • Develop and send the department’s newsletter to directors of schools each week.
  • Develop and send the department’s newsletter to principals each month.
  • Support teams across the department to improve newsletters with the goal of increasing readership.
  • Maintain some listservs and subscriber lists and support teams in maintaining other lists.
  • Draft communications as needed (e.g., PowerPoint presentations, memos, emails, etc.)
Team Logistics
  • Support the communications team with travel reimbursements, event planning and execution, and other logistical needs.

Qualifications:

  • Degree in English or a related field preferred
  • Exceptional attention to detail and critical thinking skills
  • Exceptional writing skills and a knack for communicating complex information in a clear and actionable manner
  • Strong ability to maintain high-quality work while meeting tight deadlines
  • Top notch work ethic, judgement, and integrity
  • Ability to make connections across the department’s teams and project areas
  • Interest in education

Salary and Benefits:

The contractor will receive $40,000 annually for two years without benefits.

To Apply:

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and contact information for three references to Katy.Schmitt@tn.gov with the email subject line “Communications Coordinator.” The position will be filled ASAP, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Staff Attorney and Director of Office for Civil Rights

Reports To:

Deputy General Counsel

Location:

Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway  
Nashville, TN 37243

Position Description:

While the staff attorney provides day to day support to the Legal Department, below are the specific key areas of responsibility for the position:

  • Ensuring the department’s activities conform to all federal and state civil rights law, rules and regulations.
  • Providing technical assistance and training to department of education staff and local education agencies (LEAs) and other stakeholders on civil rights compliance.
  • Investigating civil rights complaints filed by students and parents against LEAs and ensuring they are conducted and resolved in compliance with state and federal law.
  • Assisting English as a second language (ESL) coordinator in working with local education agencies on civil rights compliance in regards to limited English proficient (LEP) students
  • Assist the TDOE human resources director by investigating workplace harassment complaints and creating and updating department policies.
  • Provide support to the TDOE school safety office by conducting bullying training for LEAs.
  • Serve as the constituent services coordinator for the office of general counsel by responding to parent telephone calls, emails and letters.

Qualifications:

J.D. with current State of TN law license.

Successful candidate will exhibit the following:
  • Excellence
  • Optimism
  • Sound Judgment
  • Courage
  • Teamwork

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is up to $65,000.00 commensurate with qualifications. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.

To Apply:

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Lee.Danley@tn.gov. Applications are due by 2/3/2017.

Temporary/Part-Time

Training Facilitator

Purpose:

The Tennessee Department of Education is seeking candidates to facilitate teacher training on the revised ELA and math standards in June 2017. The facilitators will deliver training in specific content areas and grade bands to support teachers’ instructional practices and improve student learning. The training facilitator will focus on content knowledge and pedagogy to support the effective implementation of the revised Tennessee Academic Standards for ELA and math.

We are seeking facilitators with a deep understanding of the revised TN Academic Standards for ELA and math as well as the continued instructional shifts.

The training facilitator will deliver training content aligned to the revised TN Academic Standards and the department’s strategic plan, Tennessee Succeeds. The goal is to facilitate an engaging learning experience for participating educators that builds content knowledge, improves instructional practice, and leads to increased achievement for students.

Qualifications:

  • Minimum of three years of effective teaching experience.
  • Experience in researched-based instructional practices.
  • Deep knowledge of and experience in:
    • Pedagogy
    • Conditions of learning
    • Data-driven instruction
  • Deep knowledge of reading, writing, literacy development, and/or math
    • Specific knowledge of and experience in chosen content area(s), including relevant state assessments
    • Specific knowledge of formative assessment and lesson design
  • General knowledge of serving special populations of learners
  • Experienced in adult training and education
  •  Strong communication and collaboration skills.
  • The ability to skillfully offer constructive feedback to facilitate change.
  • Outstanding presentation and facilitation skills.

Commitment Details:

Training facilitators will participate in two required in-person trainings to learn the content and prepare for facilitating the professional development sessions. Both trainings will be in the greater Nashville area.

  • The first training will be April 8-9.
  • The second training will be three consecutive days during the week of June 7, with final dates pending site selection.

Facilitators who do not attend and complete both training sessions may not be eligible to facilitate teacher training in June.

Facilitators will lead teacher trainings June 18-23. Training facilitators will receive reimbursement for travel expenses and a stipend for preparation and facilitation.

Application Process:

To apply for the position, please complete the online application by 8 a.m. CST Monday, Feb 6, 2017. Applicants must also submit a cover letter, resume, and provide contact information for two references.  Only complete applications will be considered. There will be a written screening of all applicants, followed by a phone interview. All applicants will be notified about whether they have advanced to the phone interview round by Feb 24, 2017.

Please send questions to Nicole Jimenez, Deputy Director, Teacher Training and Support at Nicole.Jimenez@tn.gov .