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Science Content Specialist – Remote


This is a Full-time position in Remote - US posted July 2, 2020.

Location: Remote – US


WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit agency that conducts and applies research, develops evidence-based solutions, and provides services and resources in the realms of education, human development, and related fields, with the end goal of improving outcomes and ensuring equity for individuals from infancy through adulthood. WestEd has more than a dozen offices nationwide, from Massachusetts, Vermont, Georgia, and Washington, DC, to Arizona and California, with headquarters in San Francisco.

The Assessment Design & Development team at WestEd is seeking qualified individuals who will contribute to the delivery of high-quality products and services in the fields of student assessment, evaluation, and educational research. The successful candidate will work with the Science Assessment Development Manager in all areas of science assessment development, including interpreting the NGSS and Framework for large-scale assessment, designing innovative science assessment tasks, reviewing and editing multi-dimensional items, searching for and identifying stimulus materials, and creating ancillary materials (scoring guides, sample papers, training materials for editors and item writers), constructing test forms, and leading all aspects of the science portions of development projects.


  • Interpret the NGSS and other Framework-informed state standards for large-scale assessment development with multi-dimensional items
  • Design innovative science assessment tasks with stimuli that use a variety of media, including simulations and animations, and items that use a variety of interactive formats
  • Edit and review science assessment items and item sets. Item types may include selected response, open ended, extended response, performance event, and/or technology enhanced. Ensure that items meet WestEd writing guidelines and specifications as well as project specific style guidelines. Edit and review scoring materials associated with rubric-scored item types.
  • Serve as lead science content specialist on projects. Create item development plans and assignments, train item writers and editors, review and edit items, support work of editorial staff who work on project, and work collaboratively with directors, managers, coordinators, and other staff working on project. Develop a deep understanding of project materials (standards, style guides, etc.) and project history
  • Facilitate content review meetings. Participate in client meetings as related to serving as content lead on projects.
  • Provide science content expertise on a range of research projects, such as standards quality evaluations, studies of the alignment among standards and assessments, and surveys of best practices related to curriculum and instruction across states.
  • Develop and deliver professional development workshops/sessions related to assessment development, standards, or other focus areas of the SAAS program.
  • Provide feedback to and mentor junior content staff members.
  • Work in a fast-paced, often ambitious/demanding environment while maintaining agreed upon deliverables.

Qualifications (required):

Candidates must have recent large-scale assessment development experience—please highlight this experience at the top of your cover letter.

  • Degree in biology, engineering, geology, chemistry, physics, or a related field (Master’s degree preferred, but not required; advanced coursework in geology preferred, but not required)
  • Broad science content knowledge, specifically of the NGSS and Framework for all grades and disciplines of science
  • Teaching experience in science or a background in science education
  • Must have recent large-scale assessment development experience, including extensive experience designing innovative science tasks with interactive formats
  • Demonstrated editing skills, including content editing and copyediting
  • Strong analytical/critical thinking skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to follow detailed rules and guidelines for writing and editing assessment items
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities
  • Ability to meet deadlines within tight timelines
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully within a team environment
  • Open to feedback and review
  • Ability to communicate and send files via email, phone, filesharing software, and videoconferencing software that requires a high-speed internet connection
  • Facility with Microsoft Office Suite of products including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat Professional to accomplish daily tasks
  • Facility with PDF software applications (e.g., Adobe Acrobat) with markup capability
  • Ability to learn and work in multiple assessment development platforms

The successful candidate will be assigned to a project with a term of 10 months. At the conclusion of this project, the candidate may be assigned to another project, depending on the number of staff assigned to projects underway at that time If another assignment is not available, the term of employment will end at the conclusion of the 10-month project.

Compensation is competitive depending on experience. This position is at a WestEd grade level F.

Note: Successful candidates must be authorized to work in USA (visa sponsorship not available).