Project Associate

Posted: February 15, 2018

Organization Overview

Founded in 2010, Eskolta School Research and Design, Inc. is a non-profit organization that helps urban public schools improve results for their most vulnerable youth. We consult with teachers, school principals, and school district staff to interpret existing data and research, use this to launch and share practices in their schools, test those practices in order to improve and adapt them to their student needs, and help them to disseminate learning so that more educators can learn from their experience. We complement this site-based work with coaching to school district staff and research on school-based work to better understand how change occurs in public schools.

We focus in particular on students who have struggled in middle school and high school—youth who often face dramatic skill deficit and lack of confidence in their own ability as learners. The research-based practices we study and support schools to put in place draw upon four core principles: strength-based culture to engage students and adults; transparent and frequent feedback loops to help students and adults know how they can improve; clear pathways to success to help students flexibly progress to their futures; and data-guided leadership for adults to collaborate towards success.

Since Eskolta’s founding, we have worked with 54 schools in New York City and Newark, facilitated projects enabling more than 800 teachers and counselors in schools to improve how they support 15,650 students. Our work in 2015-16 earned a 96% satisfaction rate from participating educators; 78% rate of educators showing changes in practice; 74% rate of students showing change in skills; and 58% of students shifting mindsets to view their own role in schools more positively. We have produced research helping the NYC Department of Education to better understand how they leverage teacher leadership and continuous improvement to help all students learn.

Working with Eskolta is a unique opportunity to join an organization that is at the forefront of the effort to turn around the dropout problem through innovative education reform. We are dedicated to supporting a healthy work/life balance for everyone we work with by supporting a talented team while building a flexible workplace. To learn more, visit

Eskolta encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position, and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law. We celebrate the diversity of our nation and communities, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity. We welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share that same vision, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to our work and this mission.

The Opportunity

Eskolta is seeking Project Associates to build out our team of talented staff serving schools and district partners as they research and redesign practices and facilitate continuous improvement to re-engage students who have been off track. The Project Associate will support facilitated action research projects using tools of improvement science to help educators innovate in how they support off-track youth; engage in research and documentation of practices in New York City public schools; support qualitative and quantitative data analysis to help educators assess and learn from school improvement strategies.

The ideal candidate will have an exceptional ability to help others articulate their thinking, engage in a process of reflective inquiry to problem solve, and identify, aggregate, and explain themes and patterns they find in information. The project associate will report to a Senior School Design Partner as part of a team supporting projects in public schools as well as research efforts across multiple schools and will have the keen project management skills to juggle multiple projects, the perseverance to keep work moving despite challenges, and the attention to detail to ensure that projects are completed to high quality every time.

Your Responsibilities will include:

  • Assist in the facilitation, management, and coordination of design projects in which teams of teachers in schools test and improve practices to help off-track students succeed.
  • Conduct interviews and gather and analyze quantitative data—from surveys, student grades, attendance, test scores, etc.—to better understand the impact of efforts.
  • Write clear, concise, and informative memos, case studies, analytic studies, slide decks and other narrative forms to document learning from schools.
  • Visit public schools regularly to observe, document, survey, and interview staff and students and to support meetings of teacher teams.
  • Flexibly respond to the various needs and challenges encountered by teachers and teams of teachers as they engage in projects to implement new practices.
  • Collaborate with the full Eskolta team and support cross-team learning and development.

Your Skill Set:
As an incoming Project Associate, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • Experience in a relevant field, including education, ed-reform, adult learning, organizational change strategy and management, and participatory action research
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to quickly synthesize information into clear, cogent writing
  • Exceptional project manager with strong attention to detail, highly organized, and meticulous in monitoring work
  • Comfort and ease in diverse settings, including public schools across New York City serving a variety of populations of students who have struggled as learners
  • Strong research skills through both Internet and academic sources
  • Skills as a qualitative researcher, including facility with surveys, interviews, and data science
  • A self-starter with the ability to move a project forward in a small, entrepreneurial environment
  • A good listener, eager to grow and take feedback to learn
  • A progressive thinker committed to Eskolta’s mission and values
  • Flexibility, sense of humor, and an eagerness to get the job done

Benefits and Eskolta’s Commitment to Work/Life Balance

Eskolta is committed to supporting a flexible, results-oriented work environment. Each position therefore includes flexibility in weekly work time. Please indicate your preferences in your application.

  • This position will require significant time onsite at NYC schools
  • 6 weeks of paid annual days off in addition to Eskolta’s 10 paid holidays
  • 401k match of 5%
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Flexible Savings Accounts to make transportation, medical costs, and dependent care tax deductible
  • Paid family leave
  • Participation in an innovative, caring, growing environment

To Apply

Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Michael Rothman, Executive Director at
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

About Commongood Careers

Eskolta has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for Project Associates. Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of high-impact nonprofits. With an approach that leverages robust talent networks, recruitment and search management expertise, and a deep understanding of our clients’ missions and cultures, we help organizations secure the talent they need to create greater social impact. Since our founding in 2005, Commongood Careers has led more than 700 searches at 275 organizations in 33 states, making us one of the most experienced and dedicated nonprofit search firms in the country.
Learn more about nonprofit job opportunities at Commongood Careers.

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