Senior Policy Analyst

Washington, DC

The sought after Senior Policy Analyst will work primarily but not exclusively on our "high school to higher education" portfolio -- a communications, research, policy, and political agenda aimed at improving, better integrating, and ensuring mutually reinforcing policies at the secondary and postsecondary education levels. Additional work on other K-12 and higher education issue areas will be available based on the qualified candidate's interest and organizational need.

Education Reform Now (ERN) is a non-profit think tank which champions America's public school children, particularly low-income and racial minority youth. Our mission is to ensure that the country, consistent with its progressive values, pursues policies that empower all students, particularly students from low-income families and students of color, to obtain a globally competitive education enabling them to fulfill their limitless potential. We generate new ideas, promote proven practices, and support a durable network of champions, allies, and advocates across policymaking and political arenas who strive to expand what works and change what is broken in the public education system while keeping the interests of students and families at the center of everything we and they do. We believe in public school choice, consumer protection, and institution accountability for results.

Job Responsibilities

1.     Develop & advance ERN’s “high school – higher ed” policy and political agenda with respect to: (a) college access and success; (b) state and local embrace of quality college affordability promise initiatives; and (c) improved postsecondary education time-to-degree.

a.     Prepare and draft state-specific reports on college access, affordability, diversity, completion, and postgraduate success.

b.     Conduct policy analyses and develop specific recommendations for federal, state, and local actors with respect to quality state, community, and institution of higher education college access and affordability initiatives; K-16 education finance policies; and improved postsecondary education institution performance.

c.      Provide technical assistance to federal, state, and local leaders interested in pursuing a relevant policy agenda, including bill drafting, budget analyses, and impact assessments.

d.     Develop, execute, and supervise associated advocacy campaign activities at the federal, state, and local levels. 

2.     Monitor, advocate, and influence federal legislation, regulations, and executive action related to secondary school student success and federal student aid, including tax-related aid.

a.     Work closely with Congressional staff, Department of Education staff, and most actively relevant education and civil rights organizations to protect and advance policies related to secondary school reform; college access, affordability, and success; and resource equity. Represent ERN in coalitions and work to develop and lead coalitions as needed.

b.     Engage in federal budget, tax reform, and Higher Education Act reauthorization work, including analyzing proposals, drafting proposed amendments and support material, and advocating policies on Capitol Hill and beyond;

c.      Draft federal and state legislation; recommendations for regulations and guidance; policy memos; summaries or fact sheets; letters; testimony; talking points; questions for hearings; etc… to support ERN’s agenda.

3.     Engage with and learn from education policy and advocacy communities in Washington, DC and beyond with travel to supported ERN states, areas with model high school to higher ed policies, attendance and presentations at relevant conferences and convenings. 

a.     Write and publish op-eds, blog posts, articles on relevant policies.

b.     Comment in traditional print and on social media on relevant policies.

c.      Represent staff and speak at public and private briefings.

Candidate Qualifications

-- Strong familiarity with national or state postsecondary education public databases, such as the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

-- A post-graduate degree

-- At least 3 years of experience in academia or as education policy analyst conducting research; writing and editing policy papers; and working with federal, state, or local education actors, such as those working in a federal or state department/agency, on Capitol Hill, in a think tank, at an institution of higher education, or with an advocacy organization on relevant job responsibility issue areas;

-- Superior communication skills; ability to craft messages that resonate with multiple audiences; ability to synthesize complex information and ideas into clear, concise, and compelling written materials;

-- Relationship and consensus-building skills, including experience working with or managing coalitions; comfort working with both policy experts and novices.

-- Ability to work independently and cooperatively as a part of a DC team connected to a larger organization based in New York and state affiliates throughout the country.

-- Commitment to ERN’s mission of cultivating the next generation of progressive education ideas and leaders.

Commitment to Diversity: ERN seeks individuals from all backgrounds to apply for this position. ERN continuously ensures that an equity lens and a specific focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion is present in each aspect of our work and embedded into our organizational fabric.

How to Apply: Please submit your resume and cover letter to Upon request, screened applicants will be asked to provide writing samples and at least three references.