Jun 18, 2020

Product Director for Accountability and Assessment Tools

$83,991 - $142,051 yearly
  • Texas Education Agency
  • Austin, TX, USA
Full-time Product and Program Management Other Education

Job Description

MISSION: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will improve outcomes for all public-school students in the state by providing leadership, guidance, and support to school systems.

POSITION OVERVIEW: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) aims to improve outcomes for over 5.4 million students in Texas public schools through an ambitious Strategic Plan designed to prepare students for college, career or the military. One of the key enablers underpinning this plan is the state’s A-F accountability system, which awards letter grades to schools and school systems, recognizing the achievement and growth of their students in the prior year. The accountability system is based, in part, in the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) program. Together, the accountability and assessment programs provide data that is used in multiple stakeholder-facing tools, including:


- Texas’s parent-facing assessment website, TexasAssessment.gov
- Texas’s stakeholder-facing accountability website, TexasSchools.gov

These two sites, separately and together, provide information to help members of the Texas public school community understand the performance and progress of students in the state.

The Product Director of Accountability and Assessment Tools is responsible for managing the process of iteratively improving these tools to increase usability, functionality and efficiency and to champion coherence of design and content across the microsites and in the ongoing development and presentation of content on TEA’s website. This position manages a set of cross-functional workstreams that require collaboration with senior stakeholders across the agency, including extensive interaction with the Commissioner of Education and multiple Deputy and Associate Commissioners, as well as with Agency communications and IT functions. The role also requires effective management of vendors, a strong understanding of best practices in gathering and applying user feedback from a wide range of education stakeholders and a general understanding of Information Architecture and User Experience Design (UX). The position reports to the Deputy Commissioner of Operations.

Please note that a resume is a required attachment for applying to this position. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Additionally, please be sure to respond to the short answer prompts found in the supplemental questions. These responses should be added in a separate Word or PDF document in the attachments section of the application.

Applicants who are strongly being considered for employment must submit to a national criminal history background check.


ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

- Lead ongoing innovation efforts to ensure that TEA’s suite of assessment and accountability tools is delivering on key user needs, as well as strategic goals. Activities include:

  • Define and execute on a product roadmap for TexasAssessment.gov and TexasSchools.gov, taking into account the vision of internal leaders at TEA and the needs of users and education stakeholders.
  • Set a clear vision for the desired User Experience (UX) applying principles of Information Architecture
  • Develop or manage the development of product requirements outlining the specific technical functionality needed to deliver on user needs.
  • Manage productive relationships with vendors, overseeing the product release cycle and coordinating between vendors and key internal stakeholders.
  • Work with the Information Technology (IT), Strategic Communications, Governance and Accountability, and Assessment teams to prioritize, develop and manage product upgrades and to test and release new features and functionality.

- Ensure that target audiences across the state engage with existing and new tools to better understand and apply assessment and accountability data to help improve student outcomes.

  • Develop and manage a plan to ensure stakeholder use of tools; create and lead execution of a framework for an ongoing feedback and enhancement cycle.
  • In collaboration with Strategic Communications, Assessment, Accountability, and IT teams, develop and track key usage metrics to ensure consistent and increasing user engagement; develop and execute on key tactics to positively impact key metrics.
  • Align internally on core value proposition/messaging around TexasAssessment.gov and TexasSchools.gov.

- Champion coherence of design and content across the microsites and in the ongoing development and presentation of content on TEA’s website

  • In collaboration with TEA Communications, Assessment, Accountability, and Information Technology teams, ensure that presentation of these topics is consistent across the agency in terms of branding, messaging, and in alignment with the state’s strategic plan for education.

 

Qualifications

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

Education: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university.

Experience: At least (5) years of experience in product management and/or product development.

Substitutions: Each additional year of related experience above the required minimum may substitute for education on a year-for-year basis.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Certified Texas Contract Manager (CTCM) certification must be obtained within first six (6) months of employment
  • Fluency with technical process with a demonstrated ability to manage a development team and establish
    effective relationships with individuals in technical roles, including external developers and vendors.
  • Familiarity with Information Architecture and User Experience Design (UIX).
  • Exceptional attention to detail and superior project management and backward planning experience.
  • Ability to balance multiple projects and priorities concurrently and ensure completion of high-quality deliverables.
  • Ability to motivate and lead through influence and collaborate with diverse individuals and groups.
  • Experience successfully applying change management practices.
  • Thorough understanding of how to interpret customer business needs and translate them into application and operational requirements; clearly evidenced empathy for users.
  • Demonstrated success in managing the development of web-based products that meet the needs of a diverse audience.
  • Excellent communication, customer service, and interpersonal skills.
  • An appreciation of good design and aesthetics.
  • Exceptional strategic-thinking, creativity, and problem-solving ability in face of ambiguity.
  • Ability to receive and apply constructive feedback.
  • Ability to operate as a team player.
  • Familiarity with student assessments and school accountability systems strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to ambitious goals for student performance and equity. Previous experience or strong interest in K-12 public education strongly preferred.
  • A desire to self-reflect, give/receive feedback and continuously improve.

As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, or veteran status, unless an applicant is entitled to the veteran’s preference.

Additional Military Crosswalk (occupational specialty code) information can be accessed here.

This position requires the applicant to meet Agency standards and criteria which may include passing a pre-employment criminal background check, prior to being offered employment by the Agency.

No phone calls or emails, please. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not accept telephone calls and cannot reply to all email inquiries. Only candidates selected for interview will be contacted.


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