Assistant Commissioner of Performance, Tennessee Department of Education

  • Nonprofit Full Time
  • Tennessee
  • City: Nashville

Website Tennessee Department of Education

Position Summary

The Assistant Commissioner of Performance manages four distinct teams critical towards advancing outcomes for students across the state of Tennessee: Research and Analysis, Data Use and Governance, Accountability, and the Performance Management Division. 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 Assistant Commissioner will also work to manage the Performance Management Division within the Tennessee Department of Education, which is charged with the continuous improvement of Department services through project and process codification, implementation, progress monitoring, and evaluation.


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 year;
  • 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.

Performance Management Division: The Assistant Commissioner of Performance will develop and manage strategic initiatives related to continuous improvement of Department services:

  • Ensuring the effective and ongoing codification and improvement of strategic, priority, and general project and process plans that effectively describe initiatives and functions of the state department of education
  • Collaborating across the state agency to assist in the further integration of project and process plans into daily work and ensuring alignment between these anchor resources and programmatic budgets
  • Manage the continuous improvement efforts through Performance Routines for project plans and Process Improvement Cycles for processes

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 Others: Ability to set and communicate high expectations, to delegate tasks effectively, and to motivate and develop others in a manner that maximizes productivity and morale.

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