Test Development Manager (Math, ELA or Science)

Updated: 5 months ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!


Achievement & Assessment Inst

Position Overview

Accessible Teaching, Learning and Assessment Systems (ATLAS) which oversees the development and implementation of the Kansas Assessment Program (KAP), the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment (KELPA), and the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) alternate assessment system is seeking three (3) Test Development Managers, one for each of the content areas of Mathematics, Science and English Language Arts. The managers will ensure that development processes meet professional standards and that relevant quality assurance criteria are identified and met in a timely manner. Each Test Development Manager will oversee a team of content area specialists through rigorous item development and test construction processes. Each Test Development Manager will provide leadership and coaching to staff on their respective content teams with regard to assessment development best practices, Evidence-Centered Design (ECD) principles, and nationally recognized next-generation curricular standards (both for the general population and for students with cognitive disabilities).

The Test Development Managers will coordinate with Test Development Contract Leads (for KAP/KELPA and DLM) to ensure the delivery of annual scopes of work that include multiple overlapping phases of an end-to-end development cycle. The managers will contribute content area expertise to the creation and updating of test specifications, construct definitions and item writing guidelines. They will also oversee internal content development and validity-building steps, and external reviews of items, stimuli and data. Additionally, these roles are responsible for construction of forms, development of educator resources, and validity studies related to assessment content. The Test Development Managers will communicate across the test development team and ATLAS more broadly to ensure the needs of state partners are met and that collaborative endeavors produce successful outcomes.

A successful candidate will have deep understanding of best practices in assessment design, development and validity evidence drawn from test content, well-grounded in industry standards and Evidence-Centered Design literature and will show strong evidence of being able to successfully lead people and overlapping projects in a deadline-driven environment. The successful candidate in each content area will also have a comprehensive knowledge of next generation curricular standards in a primary content area (Mathematics, Science or ELA), with preference given to those who have significant familiarity with alternate curricular standards and assessment.

This is a full-time (40 hours/week), unclassified position at the Lawrence campus. We will consider remote work for well-qualified candidates.

  • Due to COVID restrictions, this position will begin teleworking and may transition to on-site work when deemed safe and necessary.

Job Description

40% - Manage and develop a team of content development professionals. Examples of the work performed may include:

  • coaching team members in the areas of validity evidence drawn from test content, psychometric concepts and cyclical development processes
  • coaching team members in relevant curricular standards and how they are reflected in an standardized assessments to reveal student cognition
  • implementing budgets and administrative procedures for test development projects
  • working collaboratively with leadership, test development contract leads, project coordinators, partner state liaisons and other stakeholders within ATLAS to ensure staffing resources are distributed across programs so as to ensure work progresses toward key milestones and deliverables.

35% -

Lead test development efforts for multiple assessment programs with the primary focus on either Mathematics, Science or English Language Arts. Examples of job activities include:

  • leading the development of comprehensive, multi-layer blueprints, item specifications and construct definitions grounded in ECD principles
  • leading content teams in developing assignments for item writers to ensure the construction of high quality, aligned test items
  • contributing to plans for item pool development based on test blueprints
  • ensuring that internal content reviews result in polished, accurate items that tightly align to close reading of curricular standards
  • coaching content teams in the facilitation of external reviews of items and stimuli in order to elicit high quality feedback from educators that meaningfully contributes to the improvement of items.

15% -

In coordination with Test Development Contract Leads, develop allocation plans for internal resources to support assessment projects. Examples of work performed may include:

  • implementing the establishment of a work plan across assessment programs
  • implementing the production and review of technical reports for multiple assessment programs
  • collaborate with the assistant director of test development, the test development contract leads, the implementation team and the psychometric team on identifying deliverables for a content area

5% -

Communicate with external audiences including researchers, state education agency staff, and professional organizations.

  • contributing to presentations for technical and non-technical audiences
  • providing consultation and collaboration on all aspects of test design, scope, development and validity evidence drawn from test content to state education agency staff
  • responding to client requests and coordinating communication with the partner state liaisons

5% -

Contribute to proposals for external contracts and research opportunities. Examples of work performed may include:

  • contributing the development of responses to RFPs
  • collaborating with center staff on proposals for externally-funded research projects

Position Requirements

  • Due to COVID restrictions, this position will begin teleworking and may transition to on-site work when deemed safe and necessary.
For well-qualified candidates, this position may work remotely from home (telework) on a permanent basis.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of large-scale assessment development experience or Master’s degree and 2 years of large-scale assessment development experience
  • At least two years of experience as the person with primary responsibility for a content area and/or multiple grade levels within a testing program
  • At least two years of experience managing and/or mentoring content development professionals and contributing to their professional growth
  • At least two years of experience applying a variety of theoretical approaches to validity and current research within a large-scale assessment context
  • At least two years of experience leading projects focused on next generation curricular standards (such as Common Core State Standards or the Next Generation Science Standards) in at least one content area, and familiarity with standards for multiple content areas
  • At least one year of experience developing and implementing work plans for assessment development that include blueprints, test and content specifications, construct definitions, and item development, review and quality control, and are reflective of an end-to-end development cycle.
  • At least one year of experience developing technical reports for assessment programs and developing text for validity study reports, cognitive lab reports or similar
  • At least two years of project management experience, including on-time delivery of products.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills  as evidenced by application materials and interview

  • Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field with five (5) years of large-scale test development experience, at least two (2) years of which is as the person with primary responsibility for a content area and/or multiple grade levels within a testing program
  • Experience with assessments measuring curricular standards for students with significant cognitive disabilities
  • Experience managing relationships across multiple teams within an organization
  • Experience with providing user input and collecting requirements for assessment software development
  • Record of published research or dissemination on large-scale assessment

  • Additional Candidate Instruction

    A complete application includes online application, resume or vita, cover letter highlighting qualifications and including specific examples of experience, a professional writing sample and contact information for three professional references. Only complete applications will be considered.
    Application review begins November 8, 2020.

    Advertised Salary Range

    Minimum $64,333 - dependent on qualifications

    Application Review Begins


    Anticipated Start Date


    Primary Campus

    University of Kansas Lawrence Campus

    Employee Class

    U-Unclassified Professional Staff

    Work Schedule

    Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

    Conditions of Employment

    Contingent on Funding

    Work Location Assignment



    The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY 9 for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

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