Education Program Specialist
Department Of Education - Washington, DC

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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is looking for the best and brightest to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. If you are a highly-motivated, creative individual who would like to work for an agency that establishes policies on federal financial aid for education, distributes as well as monitors those funds; collects data on America's schools and disseminates research; focuses national attention on key educational issues; and prohibits discrimination and ensures equal access to education, ED is the place for you!

This application is for U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, specifically for Washington Fellows who work full-time at ED's Headquarters as a temporary employee for a year. Teaching Ambassador Fellowship are classroom teachers on loan from their school or district through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Authority. Fellows are paid to assist the Department at ED's expense and gain valuable professional development and experience with federal materials and information to share with their collegues and school community.
The Teaching Ambassador Fellowship supports the Department's mission by enabling a cadre of outstanding teachers to contribute their classroom expertise to the national dialogue and in turn facilitate discussions with educators across the country. For Fellows, the program adds greater knowledge of educational policy and leadership to their toolkits to contribute to solutions at all levels for long intractable challenges in education. The Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program was initiated in 2008. Since then, five cohorts of Fellows totaling 80 teachers have participated in the Fellowship, including 23 teachers selected as Washington Fellows serving in Washington, DC as full-time employees of the Department of Education and 57 teachers as Classroom Fellows serving with the Department in addition to their roles as teachers.

For more information about the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship/index.html. Applicants are highly encouraged to explore this site thoroughly before submitting one's application.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

Must be a U.S. Citizen.

DUTIES:
U.S. Department of Education programs significantly impact America's teachers. Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellows provide a critical teacher perspective to the Department's work in developing, implementing, and communicating education programs and policy initiatives. This position provides outstanding Preschool through 12th grade teachers who have a record of leadership, strong communication skills, and insight from their classroom experiences, the opportunity to contribute to the national dialogue about education and highlight teacher voices within the education community and the country at large.

Washington Fellows collaborate with one another and the Fellows in the field to provide outreach on behalf of the Department, contribute their insight about schools and classrooms to the Department and increase their knowledge and understanding of federal education policies and programs. Washington Fellows serve as paid full-time federal employees in Washington, DC for one school year, placed in appropriate positions within the Department of Education to work directly on education programs and policy development and implementation and to facilitate greater understanding of the implications of the initiatives for classroom teachers both internally and with teachers in the field. The U.S. Department of Education is recruiting for up to five (5) Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellows for 2012-2013.

The positions are located in Washington, DC. We anticipate that the positions will commence by approximately late-July 2013 and continue to July 2014. Please visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship for a complete overview of this program. Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellows are hired as temporary employees under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act mobility program. The IPA mobility program provides for the temporary assignment of skilled personnel to or from state and local governments and certain other organizations to facilitate cooperation between the Federal government and the non-Federal entity and provide mutual benefits, for limited periods without loss of employee rights and benefits. Further information about the IPA program is available on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website at: http://www.opm.gov/programs/ipa/assignF.asp and http://www.opm.gov/programs/ipa/Mobility.asp

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
Applicants desiring consideration under this Program should meet U.S. Office of Personnel Management Qualification Requirements. For requirements, please click here: https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-IV/B/GS1700/1720.htm

As the final team of selected Fellows should represent the diversity of our student body and settings in which students receive instruction across the country, the Department encourages teachers and instructional leaders of students of all age levels, subject areas, grade spans, and types of communities to consider applying, including those teaching students from high poverty backgrounds, those with disabilities, or English-language learners. The program is open to teachers in traditional public, charter, virtual, military, tribal, and private schools and early childhood programs in urban, suburban, or rural settings across the United States.

Key Requirements:
  • Be a currently practicing teacher (including instructional coaches/specialists) in a United States school (including traditional public, charter, virtual, military, tribal and/or private schools) that serves any grades Preschool through 12th.
  • Have a minimum of five (5) years of teaching experience. (If the 2012-2013 school-year is your fifth year teaching, you are eligible.)
  • Be able to obtain school/district support at the point of selection to sign an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement for your participation in the program.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Desirable applicants have:
  • Demonstrable and meaningful impact on student achievement, * A record of leadership in the school and community settings,
  • Strong written and oral communication skills,
  • The ability to provide relevant insight from school and classroom experiences to education policy, programs and initiatives,
  • Experience with activities that have effectively prepared them for Fellowship work, and
  • Support from school, community and other educational leaders. Applicants will be rated on the extent and quality of their experience, skills, and training relevant to the duties of the position as reflected in their responses to the announcement questions.
Eligible applicants will receive a numerical rating based on their responses to the vacancy questions for this position. Each question reflects the key qualities we are looking for in Teaching Ambassador Fellows outlined above. Therefore, to be eligible, you must fully complete all of the narratives questions.

Highly rated candidates provide succinct, but thorough responses which address each of the sub-components of the narrative and provide clear examples demonstrating how the applicant meets the above criteria. Applications are peer reviewed as a whole package. While information found in any part of the application will be considered as part of the scoring, applicants are encouraged to clearly demonstrate how they meet the criteria outlined in each question and may repeat information as is necessary to do so.

Applicants’ responses must be substantiated by the resume and two letters of recommendation. One letter of recommendation must come from a person with whom the applicant has worked with on activities discussed in question 5 on Training and Development that have prepared the candidate for this specific position speaking to his or her relevant skills. One letter must come from a school or district leader, speaking to the applicants skills as a teacher, leader and as part of the school/district community and should acknowledge an understanding that the position will required temporary leave from the school/district for one year. Please note that school leaders do not need to guarantee IPA approval in this letter or submit any paperwork at this point of application. Highly rated applicants provide signed letters on appropriate letter-head that verify and build upon the information provided by the applicant in their narrative responses.

The most highly rated applicants will be asked to participate in telephone and potentially in-person interview processes.
All applicants will be notified by email of their status in the competition.
To preview questions please click here .

BENEFITS:
In order to ensure equity between Fellows and to enable a range of teachers’ participation in this temporary program, the Teaching Ambassador Fellows are compensated with a total package at a level that is at least commensurate to or above their current compensation. The Department will work with selected Fellows and sending schools/districts to maintain as much continuity as possible for the Fellow in benefits and ensures health benefit coverage.

OTHER INFORMATION:
The IPA mobility program provides for the temporary assignment of skilled personnel to or from state and local governments and certain other organizations to facilitate cooperation between the Federal government and the non-Federal entity and provide mutual benefits, for limited periods without loss of employee rights and benefits.

For the Washington Fellowship program, the IPA is completed with the selected teacher's employers to clarify that the Department will pay the salary of the Fellow for the year, but that the teacher is guaranteed their position following the year. The Department requests that the employers agree to maintain the teacher's benefits, potentially with reimbursement from ED, in order to minimize disruption to the teacher. Further information about the IPA program is available on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website at: http://www.opm.gov/programs/ipa/assignF.asp and http://www.opm.gov/programs/ipa/Mobility.asp

Please visit http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherfellowship for a complete overview of this program.

Travel, Relocation and Per Diem:
Relocation expenses will NOT be paid. However, candidates may be eligible for a subsistence allowance.

Questions:
Questions regarding the Fellowship can be directed to 1-800-

USALEARN.

THIS AGENCY PROVIDES REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS TO APPLICANTS WITH

DISABILITIES. IF YOU NEED A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION FOR ANY PART OF

THE APPLICATION AND HIRING PROCESS, PLEASE NOTIFY THE AGENCY AT 202-

401-1259. THE DECISION ON GRANTING REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS WILL BE

ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS.

ALL APPLICANTS WILL RECEIVE CONSIDERATION REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR,

RELIGION, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE,

POLITICAL AFFILIATION, UNION AFFILIATION OR NONAFFILIATION, MARITAL

STATUS, NON-DISQUALIFYING PHYSICAL HANDICAP, OR ANY OTHER NON-MERIT

REASON.

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The US Department of Education's (or ED) mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering...