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SupportingWork_Strategy and Data

The Assistant Commissioner of Performance manages three distinct teams critical towards advancing outcomes for students across the state of Tennessee: Research and Analysis, Data Use and Governance, and Accountability. The Assistant Commissioner will serve a critical role in ensuring effective research and analysis and data use and governance particularly as the state looks to implement interventions to mitigate the effects of learning loss for students. The Assistant Commissioner will need technical expertise and knowledge, and the ability to translate complicated ideas for different stakeholder audiences. The Assistant Commissioner will manage the Accountability team and oversee the state report card process.



The position will work closely with the Deputy Commissioner, Operations to deliver supports to the following key stakeholder groups among others:

  • Commissioner
  • Department Cabinet: Includes all chiefs across the department
  • Department Executive Leadership Team: Includes all assistant commissioners
  • Office of the Governor
  • General Assembly
  • Local Education Agency (LEAs) Leadership
  • External Organizations: Includes research institutions and partners, philanthropic and federal government partners, teacher, parent, and leader organizations, and nonprofits


Preferred Qualifications

  • 10+ Years of Research, Data Governance, School and District Accountability, and/or Continuous Improvement
  • High level of personal responsibility, optimism, and judgment
  • Commitment to excellence and problem-solving
  • Ability to prioritize critical tasks
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with others
  • Dedication to cultivating workplace culture
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Graduate degree in relevant field preferred
  • Experience in education preferred




Strategic Initiatives & Functions

Research and Analysis: The Assistant Commissioner of Performance will develop and manage research proposals and agendas aligned to the strategic plan:

  • Manage internal research and analysis portfolio and ensure continuous strategic alignment
  • Oversee partnerships with research institutions and entities on producing high-quality research that evaluates impact of initiatives across the state of the Tennessee
  • Lead collaboration with divisions across the agency—including closely with the Performance Management Division—to ensure research quality
  • Manage the codification and continuous improvement of project and process plans to advance the organization’s strategic vision;

Data Use and Governance: The Assistant Commissioner of Performance, in collaboration with the Chief Information Officer, will develop and manage data use and governance for both internal and external stakeholders

  • Strategic development—including managing interagency collaboration and coherence—and implemented of an updated data use and governance vision and plan
  • Update and provide strategic vision for a renewed education information and data platform, including technological capability and managing data privacy policy;
  • Manage the codification and continuous improvement of project and process plans to advance the organization’s strategic vision; and
  • Analyze data use and governance supports to districts to ensure alignment to overall strategic plan, adapting to new district needs based on context, and leveraging federal funds to meet district needs.

Accountability: The Assistant Commissioner of Performance, in collaboration with the Assistant Commissioner, Assessment, will develop and manage strategic initiatives related to district and school accountability including but not limited to:

  • Ensuring the quality of data and effective visualization of state report card
  • Collaborating with stakeholders to ensure the maximum transparency around how the report card is developed and released each year7
  • Providing strategic support and vision around accountability and related interventions;
  • Manage the codification and continuous improvement of project and process plans to advance the organization’s strategic vision; and
  • Continuously analyze and improve supports to districts aligned to the strategic plan and ensure strong communication and partnership between the state department and local education agencies.

External Stakeholder Management: The Assistant Commissioner of Performance in collaboration with the Deputy Commissioner, Operations, will partner with the Office of the Governor, the Tennessee State Legislature, other state agencies, philanthropic partners, and local education agencies to:

  • Co-develop and manage cross-cutting projects between multiple state agencies;
  • Provide the Office of the Governor and the Tennessee State Legislature answers to requests, policy and legislative proposal analyses, and other services as requested; and
  • Identify and leverage philanthropic opportunities to further the goals of the strategic plan.

Internal Management: The Assistant Commissioner of Performance will play a key role in ensuring the department’s operations continue to work as efficiently as possible in the service of programmatic goals.  This will include leadership over high-profile initiatives or issues as they arise, the development of unique project plans aligned to strategic plans, and collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to problem solve in a variety of contexts.

Customer Focus: A consistent consideration of the needs of internal and external customers, to provide service at a high level of quality, and to evaluate customer satisfaction

Developing Direct Reports and OthersAbility to set and communicate high expectations, to delegate tasks effectively, and to motivate and develop others in a manner that maximizes productivity and morale

To Apply:

This search is being managed by TalentED Advisors, a New York based talent strategy and management firm which partners exclusively with non-profit organizations. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their interest in our mission and qualifications for the position by using this link.


Position Title:     Senior Director of Accountability and Data

Reports To:     Chief Strategy Officer

Location:    Tennessee Department of Education

                       710 James Robertson Parkway, 10th floor

                       Nashville, TN 37243

Position Description:

The Senior Director of Accountability will report to the Chief Strategy Officer. The Senior Director’s most important role is supporting, developing, coaching, and supervising internal leadership in the Division of Accountability towards a powerful state accountability system with student, educator, and district processes and sustainability in mind. The successful candidate must:
        • Develop and articulate a theory of action for how accurate data and accountability systems and support structures lead to school improvement by informing and driving school-level educator actions
        • Operationalize education data to accurately reflect and contribute to a holistic picture of student learning and how these measures impact districts and classrooms
The Senior Director will lead all processes related to district and school accountability and data accuracy. This includes computing school and district grades that improve education for all students in Tennessee and evaluating the quality of the data maintained by the department.
The office will support district and stakeholder understanding and use of accountability resources, frameworks, and mechanisms, as well as partner with other TDOE offices to provide actionable data related to performance goals and targets. The division will also oversee how all collected metrics are used and reported.

This individual will have deep expertise in assessment and education data and will be an excellent writer and communicator and be extremely organized. The Assistant Commissioner will serve as a critical resource for teams as they develop plans and deliver on initiatives connected to the upcoming strategic plan. This individual should be organized, detail oriented, and exhibit sound judgment and communications skills. The ideal candidate should have prior LEA or SEA experience.

The Senior Director of Accountability will support or lead district and stakeholder understanding of strategic department products and services, and partner closely with other TDOE offices to provide actionable data related to performance goals and targets, monitoring the complexity of change management. Managing the Division of Accountability, the Senior Director of Accountability will help to monitor and assess the impact of these initiatives and will support others in their understanding of these processes, including colleagues at the department, CORE regional offices, and district personnel.

The Senior Director will lead the work with managing the process, documentation, contracts and vendors associated with the work of highly effective evaluation of schools. Additionally, the Senior Director will lead the team to develop meaningful analytics that provide insight into strategic needs of the Department.  While predominantly this role will revolve around accountability, the Senior Director needs to have a passion for interpreting education data and assessing its validity and uses. A critical component of this role is ensuring that the department, schools, and districts have the tools, resources, and support they need to take effective action on behalf of their students. The Senior Director of Accountability will be responsible for managing the planning, communication, coordination, execution, and measurement for these varying initiatives and other policy recommendations.


Specific Position Responsibilities:
        • Provides leadership for evaluation, and statistics related to the development ofTennessee’s accountability and
           data governance programs and manages the data collection, analysis, and reporting of local school system data
        • Supervise and direct staff in the Division of Accountability to ensure Tennessee’s accountability systems
           prioritize students and comply with federal and state laws.
        • Direct and conduct analysis and anticipate challenges and unintended consequences to develop and
           communicate accountability policy.
        • Oversee the production of school grades and district accountability designations and maintenance ofall
           relevant documentation, including business rules, protocols, and data definitions.
        • Manage large statewide contracts for key accountability needs
        • Provide training and/or support to CORE offices, other department staff, and district personnel around data and
        • Analyze state assessment data, performance, and policies to guide Department strategy and statewide data use. •         • Continuously improve, innovate, and optimize accountability framework as a strategic policy lever.

        • Provide effective written and verbal communication on all matters related to accountability, leveraging a variety
           of mediums and formats.
        • Oversee maintenance of accountability application, graduation cohort application, school directory, and other
           necessary platforms in partnership with Technology division.
        • Lead and support in development, rollout, maintenance, evaluation and continual improvement of the TDOE
           data governance program including internal processes, data collection protocols, and reporting access of the
           various data sources of TDOE
        • Execute on a vision for streamlining TDOE data into a comprehensive enterprise data system that elevates the
           work of the entire department and all districts.
        • Oversee the training and support to department staff, and external stakeholders as needed, around data
           processes to strengthen the accuracy and efficiency of their data, and increase the trust, use, and impact of
           enterprise data for our varying layers of stakeholders and audiences
        • Establish structures that improve data quality and maintain data documentation across the state.
        • Establishes procedures and priorities for developing and coordinating stakeholder access to data; facilitate
           group processes to support/sustain high standards of customer support.
        • Ensure compliance with legal requirements (e.g., FERPA), standardization practices, and quality interpretation
        • Build communities of practice with state education agencies to identify best practices and cultivate strategic
        • Maintain professional and productive relationships with districts, federal agencies, other external stakeholders,
           internal stakeholders, and direct reports.
        • Perform other duties as assigned and/or as necessary to achieve strategic objectives


The ideal candidate will have:
        • Minimum of three years of progressive experience applying educational data in direct practice, research, and/or
           policy and seven years of professional experience in education, education measurement, policy, management,
           or a related field.
        • Minimum fiveyears of practical experience in K-12 public education, with at least three in education
           administration, preferably in Tennessee.
        • Minimum of three years’ experience managing teams to results, especially leading comprehensive
           accountability, assessment, and evaluation systems.
        • Master’s degree in education, policy, statistics, data science,or related field or equivalent work experience
        • Strong planning, organization, and project management skills, with the ability to identify dependencies and
           develop a comprehensive, technical plan of action.
        • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and team-building skills.
        • Political acumen with various stakeholders and constituent groups.
        • Results-oriented, hands-on, team player with a demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced, high energy
           environment while meeting multiple deadlines and completing multiple tasks.
        • Strong critical thinking skills including exceptional analytic, strategic, and problem-solving skills.
        • Experience using data and statistical software/languages (SQL, R, STATA and/or python) preferred
        • Unwavering belief that all students can learn and achieve success in school


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

To Apply:
Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three professional references to

Pursuant to the State of TN's policy of non-discrimination, the Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or military services in its policies, or in the admission of, access to, treatment, or employment in its programs, services, or activities.