Learning Ally--a non-profit education solutions company dedicated to improving the lives of struggling learners at school, home, and in their lives-- began 70 years ago as Recording for the Blind with a mission to provide access to books for those who were blind or visually impaired. With a history of evolving that initial mission to serve even more readers and learners, Learning Ally continues to grow its vision and solution offerings.
Our solutions are currently in over 20,000 schools nationwide. We are passionate about growth, both internally and for the educators and students we serve. Our partnerships with world-renowned researchers at institutions like UC San Francisco and MIT are allowing us to develop new ground-breaking solutions that allow for early identification of literacy challenges, as well as cognitive strengths and weaknesses of students. We believe we can fundamentally change the way education works for the over 60% of students who are currently struggling by understanding how students learn and developing educational solutions to meet the needs of students.
We are seeking an experienced Director of Professional Learning Solutions with demonstrated business success launching in-service teacher learning services and products. The candidate must also have a deep understanding of standard product management practices and protocols, specifically on the strategic, go-to-market aspects of releasing high value educational solutions (including software). This candidate will report directly to the Vice President of Solutions Development. The Director must be able to articulate the needs of professional learning in the PreK-12 market, manage market analysis for multiple solutions, lead the organization in launching new solutions, and innovate in ways that transforms the reading experience for striving readers across multiple demographics.
The candidate will need to be both a team player and a coach—leading without direct authority, yet delivering the best in class solutions for multiple market niches. The Director must be able to see from both the 1,000- and 1-foot views, providing enough detail and steering the course to deliver against the business roadmap. The Director must have direct experience as a Product Manager with an emphasis on the business strategy: valuation, market segmentation, product vision, key metrics, launch, and lifecycle. This candidate must have experience in PreK-12 market. Director should have comfort working in ambiguity periodically, using business goals and roadmap as guide to solve problems as they arise. This role requires high level of analytical skills. Candidate should be able to synthesize multiple sources of complex information and data to refine strategy, solutions, workflows, and processes.
Primary Position Competencies and Objectives
- Direct experience (in practice or business) with reading intervention, special education, dyslexia
- Knowledge of multiple instructional coaching points-of-view
- Instructional design
- Ability to manage research-driven products and to understand research-based validation
- Familiarity with pre-service and in-service teacher education/training
- Editorial skills in academic content, curriculum, content mapping, standards-alignments, scope and sequence
- Ability to think strategically about thought literacy in the prek-12 market
- Proven experience launching products or services for educators
- Ability to conduct market research and write business cases
- Understanding of the education sector funding and spending decisions and cycles
- Ability to write value propositions, using personas and market research to provide for the most important needs for educators and administrators
- Creation of competitive intelligence to assist marketing and sales
- Effective project management, with the ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects
- Ability to understand and ensure that organization’s goals and strategies are supported by product development
Leadership, Collaboration, and Communication
- Excellent people skills
- Ability to communicate at both detailed and high levels, understands what level of detail a given audience requires
- Ability to identify and work with various cross-departmental stakeholders to garner consensus on release plans and to provide support for product launches
- Ability to manage multiple products across entire Solutions portfolio by collaborating and leading with product pillar leads
- Mentoring and/or people management
- Ability to build and manage relationships across departments with sometimes competing priorities
- Ability to know who needs to be in the room to move initiatives forward
- Development and execution of research plans to guide product planning
- Gathering effective and clear product and business requirements from internal and customer stakeholders
- Creation of clear business and product documentation
- Management and execution of a multi-product “backlog”
- Development of effective launch plans from established roadmap based on business priorities, customer needs, and organization readiness
At least 10 years of related experience in education, instructional design, and/or educator professional development.
At least 5 years of experience directly tied to Product Management (designing, developing, delivering, and maintaining) high-value solutions for educators and learners.
- having been a certified reading specialist or classroom teacher
- authoring educational resources or curriculum
- designing or delivering professional development to teachers and administrators
- designing and executing UX research
- product marketing management
- Familiarity with Confluence/Jira, Trello, A-ha!
Bachelors or Masters in Education, reading preferred.
Business degrees will be considered with the prerequisite experiences. Other degrees must demonstrate expertise in the specific targeted market.