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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Part-Time Assessment Item Creator

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Assessment Development/ Opportunity: Part-Time Assessment Item Creator, Boston or Flexible Location (work can be completed remotely)

Organizational Overview:
The Achievement Network (ANet) is a fast-growing non-profit organization dedicated to helping all students achieve academic excellence by providing effective data-driven strategies to identify and close gaps in student learning.  Since 2005, we have worked with over 160 charter and district schools to enable teachers to assess student understanding of specific aspects of the curriculum, rethink their teaching approach in problem areas, and ultimately, raise student achievement.  Focusing on grades three through eight, we provide regular assessments in English Language Arts and Math aligned to high standards, reports identifying school, class and student strengths and gaps, training and coaching on how to address these gaps, and forums for sharing performance data and best practices across a Network of participating schools.  This comprehensive package has produced measurable student achievement gains in our Network schools. 

The Achievement Network currently serves schools in Boston and Springfield, MA, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, LA, Newark, NJ, and Chicago, IL and this upcoming year we will open new Networks in New York, NY and Nashville and Memphis, TN.  By 2013, we aim to serve over 300 schools across these Networks in order to affect the educational outcomes of over 60,000 students every year.   

Position Overview:
Assessment Item Creators are primarily commissioned during the spring and summer and are tasked with writing test questions for our ELA and/or Math interim assessments in grades 3-8 that are aligned to state summative assessments as well as state and/or Common Core standards.  These items range from multiple-choice items to short answer items to open response items. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
1.       Research and analyze a network's standards, state assessments and released items
2.       Create new items for interim assessments
a.       Multiple choice items (ELA items are usually tied to passages and assess skills ranging from Identify Details to Main Ideas to Character Traits. Math items assess a variety of state-specific standards, like “Solve equations” or “Data and Central Tendency.”)
b.      Short answer items (For ELA, these are tied to passages and require a 1-2 sentence open-ended response, as well as a scoring rubric. For math, these are the same as multiple-choice items but require an open-ended answer.)
c.       Open response items with accompanying scoring rubric (For ELA these are written to go with passages. For Math these can assess multiple standards by asking different questions and having students show their work.)
3.       Edit items to ensure they align with state-specific standards, style, and rigor
4.       Item Creators must participate in trainings (by phone or web) before beginning a project

Required Skills, Experiences and Competencies:
In order to be successful in this role, ideal candidates should demonstrate the following:
  • Excellent education credentials and school experience:  Bachelor’s Degree required; 2+ years of standards-based teaching, preferably in grades 3 – 8; experience with or study of assessment creation and design a plus
  • Comprehensive understanding of what students must know and be able to demonstrate in different grade levels/subject areas: In order to develop items and meet assessment criteria; Grades 3 – 8, ELA or Math preferred
  • Comfort with working in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced, highly collaborative and team-oriented environment: With a desire to contribute to a growing organization, outstanding project management skills and initiative.
  • Excellent attention to detail, to be sure that items are aligned with state standards and state summative assessments.
  • Comfort with meeting deadlines, working independently, and being flexible: All important qualities for staff who work remotely.
  • Belief in The Achievement Network’s mission and strategy: Most importantly, a passionate commitment to and a sense of urgency for the support of urban schools, along with a belief that all students can achieve at high levels 
Salary and Schedule:
a.       Pays $5/item for multiple-choice; special projects and items are paid at a project rate
b.      Time varies by item, and number of items to create varies by current workflow
c.       Busiest times are generally between March and August
d.      Should have flexible schedule and be able to meet one-off requests

How to Apply:
The Achievement Network is soliciting applications for this position immediately.  To apply, please email a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity (both in Word format) to Jackie Lariviere at, subject line “Part-time Item Creator.”  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The Achievement Network is committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization.  We are an equal opportunity employer and seek individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds to apply to this position.


Anonymous said...

Am I reading this right? Are they paying $5 per item when the going rate is $20-$30 per item?

Anonymous said...

The most I've received for assessment item writing is $7-$9, with special ones getting up to $15. Is someone really paying $20-$30 per item? I could quit my job and write 8 of those per day for nine months...

I may be a little out of the loop on market prices now. I wrote those items a few years ago.


Amy said...

I haven't written for less than $25/hr in years. I was all set to apply until I saw the pay rate :(

Anonymous said...

That makes sense to me. $25/hour is not the same as $25 per item. I averaged $20-$30/per hour with the $7 per item rate. I would definitely not apply for a job that didn't have the option of earning at least $20/hour.


Amy said...

Whoops...sorry, Laura, that was a typo. I meant to type $25/item, not hour. All of the major publishing I write for (including Pearson, NWEA) currently pay experienced writers $25 and up per item. And, you're right, if you can find consistent work the pay is excellent.

Anonymous said...

The lowest I've ever been paid for assessment work is $10 per item. I think the highest is currently $37 per item. The majority falls into the $20-$30 range I mentioned in my first post.