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Job Title: Lead ELA Specialist - REMOTE

Organization: University of California Santa Cruz

Lead ELA Specialist - REMOTE
Location: Silicon Valley
Job ID: 28234


This position works remotely requiring a telecommuting agreement and adherence to the UCSC Telecommuting/Remote Work Guidelines. The employee shall be available in a full-time capacity during assigned telecommuting work hours (specific hours to be discussed with supervisor). While telecommuting/remote working, the employee is responsible for ensuring a worksite environment suitable for accomplishing their regular job duties during scheduled hours of work and, if applicable, arranging for dependent care just as they would if they were working at the regular UCSC worksite.


UC Vaccination Policy: With limited exceptions, for Covered Individuals under the Policy. Covered Individuals include all employees, students, or trainees who physically access a University facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training.

Covered Individuals do NOT include employees who work 100% remotely with NO expectation that they will physically access any University location or program at ANY time. If 100% remote work ends, the employee is subject to Policy.

Employees can see here online or


UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It's known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus's DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.


UC Santa Cruz staff jobs are posted until filled. Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. NOTE: Materials submitted after the IRD will be forwarded only at the request of the hiring unit. Submit your materials before the IRD to ensure consideration by the hiring unit.

The IRD for this job is: 01-05-2022


The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a public agency supported by 15 members (13 states, one territory and the Bureau of Indian Education). Through the work of thousands of educators, Smarter Balanced created an online assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), as well as tools for educators to improve teaching and learning. Smarter Balanced is housed at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Silicon Valley Extension.

Our work is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed — regardless of disability, language, or subgroup. We involve experienced educators, researchers, state and local policymakers, and community groups working together in a transparent and consensus-driven process.

Smarter Balanced staff have a profound commitment to UCSC's Principles of Community, including embracing diversity, equity and inclusion.

UCSC Extension provides professional training that reflects the academic rigor of the University of California and the hands-on, roll-up-your-shirtsleeves practicality of Silicon Valley culture. Developed with guidance from key industry leaders and academic experts, our certificate programs match the economic demand of your industry, from engineering to business, education to bioscience. The University of California reviews and approves UCSC Extension courses and programs for academic content, merit and instructor qualifications. Many of our courses may be applied toward degree programs, or may be eligible for professional certificates and licenses.


Uses advanced technical skills related to learning management systems, multimedia design, assessment systems, communication tools, streaming media platforms, and multimedia creative applications to meet unique and often "new" requirements related to online ELA/literacy assessment design and development. Analysis of project requirements requires in-depth evaluation and understanding of content standards and assessment development best practices, including assessment development that aligns to the organization's goals on equity and inclusion. Interacts with senior internal and external personnel, and has an exceptional command of communications that represents the organization. Assumes responsibility for major components of the ELA/literacy assessment development at Smarter Balanced. Provides guidance to other assessment designers to ensure consistency and high quality aligned to organizational goals.Works with technical experts and service providers to ensure the Smarter Balanced assessment system addresses the depth and breadth of the member states' standards in an authentic manner that serves as signals for high quality instruction.Exercises judgment in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for creating high quality assessments in grades 3-8 and high school.


Salary Information: $99,848- $113,221 / Annually. Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience.
No. of Positions: 1
Benefits Level Eligibility: Full
Schedule Information:

  • Full-time

  • Percentage of Time: 100%

  • Fixed

  • Average Hours per Week: 40

  • Days of the Week: Mon - Fri

  • Shift Includes: Day

Employee Classification: This is a Career appointment
Job End Date: None
Work Location: Remote
Union Representation: Non-Represented
Job Code Classification: 006147 (INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER 4)
Travel: Up to 25% of the time


50% - Assessment Development

Applies advanced professional ELA/literacy assessment design and technology skills to create online and print ready assessments that support member state standards and learning objectives.

Consults with member states and stakeholders to determine priorities and implementation to meet priorities for ELA/literacy assessment content and advocates technology tools and creative processes that advances the consortium's priorities around item and test development.

Creates and/or oversees the creation of high quality ELA/literacy assessment content,. Establishes detailed schedules for individual or multiple projects, and oversees production, including overseeing external contractors, member stakeholders who contribute to production, and other team members.

Collaborates on and/or oversees test content and support resources to meet requirements for accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion--including but not limited to the selection of extant texts from robust and diverse sources, consideration of text complexity as part of appropriately assessing students (including English learners and students with disabilities), and adequately integrating cross subject materials, such as scientific or social studies resources.

35% - Assessment Planning and Project Support

Monitors assessment issues during active testing windows and resolves issues with staff and stakeholders.

Works in a collaborative manner with other instructional designers, technology staff, faculty, and teaching assistants and demonstrates diplomacy and tact in all communications. Leads and/or supervises a small team to plan and execute ELA/literacy development.

Solves complex assessment content or assessment resource related issues through applying best practices in the field, recommending and implementing technology tools and approaches; produces production processes for use within and across teams.

Develops proposals and recommendations to guide and support a broader strategic direction for the development of ELA/literacy interim and summative assessments in support of member and Consortium needs.

15% - Stakeholder Engagement

Actively seeks out knowledge from member stakeholders and the field of new and emerging assessment innovations and technologies.

Leads and directs a wide variety of projects and follows through with all levels of staff and individuals inside and outside the organization to develop items and assessments, including supplemental resources in support of the ELA/literacy interim and summative assessments.. Executes independent decision-making in support of the Consortium goals on ELA/literacy assessments.

Responds to stakeholder questions and/or provides consultation to stakeholders on the development of ELA/literacy assessments, as appropriate, for the entire Consortium.


  • Advanced degree in English language arts/ literacy and / or equivalent experience / training.

  • Advanced knowledge of assessment design principles.

  • Advanced ability to conduct analysis and develop recommendations, demonstrating organizational and problem-solving skills.

  • Advanced analytical skills

  • Advanced written communication skills 

  • Advanced verbal and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Advanced collaboration and negotiation skills.

  • Advanced knowledge of policies that impact ELA/literacy assessment development.

  • Expert level skills in application of planning, resourcing and monitoring of effective design life cycles of assessment to support the organization.

  • Thorough knowledge to conduct appropriate job and task analyses in the context of assessment design of technical or specialized training.

  • Highly skilled communication and interpersonal skills to communicate with and influence others, both verbally and in writing

  • Experience leading large, complex projects.

  • Experience leading and/or supervising staff.

  • 5 years' experience in ELA/literacy assessment development and / or equivalent experience.


  • Project Management Professional Certification

  • Advanced knowledge of organization policies and procedures.

  • Experience selecting a diversity of extant texts from different sources in alignment with specified standards for use in educational assessments.

  • Advanced understanding of business strategies and market priorities related to online assessment and achievement of organizational goals.

  • Advanced knowledge and skills with relevant business software systems and content creation tools.


  • Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.

  • Ability to work remotely from a home office and be able to fulfill requirements of the UCSC telecommuting agreement.

  • Ability to work long periods of time at a computer with or without accommodation.

  • Ability to work occasional nights, weekends and/or holidays.

  • Ability to travel when required.

  • The University of California has implemented a covering all employees. To be compliant with the policy, covered employees must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exception or deferral, eight (8) weeks from date of hire.


All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.


Attach your resume and cover letter when applying for this job opening. Do not attach any documents to 'My Activities'. Visit our tutorial for detailed instructions on our applicant process.


View full job description and access on-line application:

To ensure review of application materials by the hiring unit, they must be submitted on or before the initial review date (IRD) via the Staff Employment Opportunities web site; A computer is available at the UC Santa Cruz Staff Human Resources Office located at Scotts Valley Center. The Scotts Valley Center is located at 100 Enterprise Way, Suite E100, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. To learn more or to request disability accommodations, call 831-459-2009. Hearing impaired are encouraged to use the California Relay Service at 800-735-2922. UC Santa Cruz is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

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