Job Opportunity: Science Test Developer/Item Writer, American Institutes for Research, Georgetown Washington DC

Rachel Howell
September 17, 2014

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 Science Test Developer/Item Writer to join the Assessment Program’s Science Content Team in the Washington, DC office (relocation assistance is available). The Science Content Team is responsible for the creation of all science test materials, products, and services for state and other assessment programs.


The Science Test Developer will work with the Science Content Team to develop online and paper-pencil state assessment programs. The Science Test Developer is the primary representative to the client on matters specific to science item and test form development. Duties include:
• Writing, revising, and reviewing test items (questions) based on scientific content correctness and appropriateness, fairness, and project specifications;
• Developing ways to use the new item types to assess aspects of science content not amenable to paper-pencil assessment;
• Being available and responsive to client needs;
• Managing internal and external item writing and reviewing to meet internal and external deadlines;
• Leading client committee meetings in which stakeholders review the content and grade-appropriateness of test items;
• Leading constructed-response scoring activities to identify exemplar student responses, monitor scorer training, and audit scoring sessions;
• Helping develop new machine-scored item types;
• Resolving client feedback on test items and test forms;
• Assembling and reviewing field test and operational test forms, working with technical staff to meet content and statistical specifications;
• Designing, and resolving client feedback on test specification documents, style guides, test blueprints, and specific student aids;
• Supporting technical staff at client committee meetings in which stakeholders review statistical data of administered test forms;
• Managing test item pools;
• Working collaboratively with the Science Content Team across content areas and projects while meeting rolling deadlines.


• Masters degree in a science discipline or science education, Ph.D. preferred.
• Excellent science subject area knowledge is required. Background in physics, biology or chemistry is preferred.
• Experience in assessment or classroom instruction.
• Must be comfortable with and interested in learning new technologies.
• Excellent verbal and written communications skills and attention to detail.
• Ability to deal diplomatically with clients.
• Ability to prioritize tasks and meet tight deadlines.
• Ability and willingness to run a project while supporting others’ projects.

Required travel for this position ranges from 2 weeks to 6 weeks per year. Candidates should be able to travel as required for 1 to 2 weeks at a time, especially in the summer.