American Institutes for Research

  • Senior Science Test Developer

    Job Location US-DC
    Job ID
    Job Location
    United States
    Test Development/Content
  • Overview

    The Assessment Program at AIR is a well regarded organization that is growing rapidly. We focus on providing our clients with customized assessments that not only measure student achievement against state standards, but also provide meaningful score reports that can help students, parents, and educators address any areas of student weakness. Our environment is fast-paced and requires people at all levels who are willing to roll up their sleeves to get the work done on time while maintaining high quality.

    We are currently seeking a Senior Science Test Developer to join our team in the Washington, D.C. office.


    A Senior Science Test Developer may be assigned to one of three different jobs within test development: (1) a senior member of a science content team, (2) a team leader or (3) an item development manager for a state assessment project. More information is provide below.

    (1) Senior Member of a Science Team
    The Senior Science Test Developer will function as an important role model and trainer within one of the science teams. They will be responsible for writing and reviewing items as well as training staff to understand the features of a quality item and work with them to improve the quality of their item writing and reviewing.

    Responsibilities include:
    - Manage science test development activities for specific state assessment projects.
    - Write test blueprints and item specifications
    - Design plans for item pool development based on these blueprints
    - Train internal Science staff and outside item writers to write high-quality items based on the state’s standards and benchmarks
    - Perform senior content review for all project science items to ensure item quality
    - Assemble and do test specialist reviews on all operational and field test forms based on test blueprint and field test design
    - Provide content expertise at standard settings and data review meetings
    - Lead constructed response scoring activities
    - Lead content committee meetings, pool planning meetings, and form building meetings

    (2) Science Team Leader
    Responsible for all aspects of managing a team of science test developers including performance monitoring, review, and feedback. The person who fills this position must be willing to troubleshoot, problem solve, and work alongside the rest of the team to get the job done well.

    Responsibilities include:
    - Manage science staff and their use of approved AIR and Test Development processes and procedures on specific assessment projects
    - Develop a cohesive science team that works together to achieve a quality product and meets all deadlines on an assessment project
    - Serve as part of senior project team to develop, implement, and oversee a work plan that provides quality assurance and meets budgets and deadlines.
    - Identify staffing needs, assign staff to project activities, and adjust these assignments as needed.
    - Monitor staff attendance and performance on assigned work
    - Set goals for staff and conduct performance reviews at required intervals
    - Participate in the hiring of new science staff

    (3) Item Development Manager for a State Project
    The Item Development Manager for a state project has the overall responsibility for managing all of the item development within a specific state project. This person will interact with clients, develop and monitor a strong team of Test Developers across content areas, and implement appropriate work plans to produce high quality tests that meet required specifications within deadline and budget.

    Responsibilities include:
    - Interact with state client counterpart and bring up issues that need to be addressed and work toward the satisfactory resolution of these issues
    - Work with the client to determine yearly pool needs and constructed response scoring dates
    - Respond to client requests as needed and include appropriate AIR staff to reach decisions


    - Masters degree in Science field or science education with at least 6 years of experience in the development of standardized assessments or a Ph.D. in a science related field and at least 4 years of experience in the development of standardized assessments
    - Ability to identify problems and conceptualize solutions
    - Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines
    - Ability to work collaboratively and manage staff and the test development processes
    - Knowledge of the detection and correction of flaws in multiple choice and constructed response items
    - Experience in the activities of blueprint and item specification development, pool development, item review, fairness review, constructed response scoring, and form development
    - Experience in the use of either classical and IRT statistical models to interpret item level data and construct of test forms
    - Must be comfortable with and interested in learning new technologies
    - Excellent communication skills with clients and colleagues
    - Ability to give and receive professional feedback

    Required travel for this position ranges from 4 to 10 weeks per year. Candidates should be able to travel as required for 2-3 days at a time, mostly in the June/July time frame.



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