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Senior Performance Assessment Specialist

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Who We Are

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) is a national organization that conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to shape education policies and improve learning for each and every child. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, LPI connects policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels with the evidence, ideas, and actions needed to strengthen the pre-k to grade 12 education system and address the complex realities facing public schools and their communities. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others who care about improving public schools, the Institute advances evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for all children.

The Position

LPI seeks a full-time Senior Performance Assessment Specialist to join its team of research, policy, and communications staff in advancing the organization’s performance assessment work. This position may be based in either our Palo Alto, CA, or Washington, DC, office.

LPI supports state leaders in developing and implementing performance assessment systems by (1) providing direct technical and strategic assistance to state instructional and assessment leaders through state-specific advising and cross-state learning and coordination opportunities, (2) developing the tools and resources needed by states to design and enact instructionally relevant performance assessment systems, and (3) elevating research and practice to influence state and federal assessment policy development.  

The Senior Performance Assessment Specialist will work closely with the Senior Advisor overseeing LPI’s performance assessment work to (1) play a key role in the development and execution of LPI’s performance assessment strategy; (2) support and advance the use of performance assessment in P–16 systems by facilitating communities of practice and providing direct technical and strategic assistance to districts, states, intermediaries, and higher education communities; and (3) cultivate and maintain relationships with technical and strategic partners, state and district partners, and other relevant stakeholders in the performance assessment arena.

The successful candidate will bring expertise in performance assessment and experience developing and leading strategic initiatives within complex educational systems (e.g., state education agencies).  

Major Responsibilities

  • Design and lead cross-state and cross-district communities of practice to further the development and implementation of key performance assessment initiatives.
  • Design and facilitate convenings with partners and relevant groups, including organizing in-person and virtual meetings and events related to performance assessments.
  • Develop memos, strategy documents, research syntheses, and other documentation as requested to support state and local staff and leadership to contribute to the design of systems of assessment that are performance-based, high-quality, and effective within their state policy and infrastructure contexts.
  • Conceptualize, design, and coordinate the development of high-leverage tools and resources across cross-sector collaborative working groups, with support as needed.
  • Manage external contracts and partners involved in technical work related to assessment and capacity-building.
  • Support LPI’s research team in documenting state and district activities in service of continuous improvement of practical efforts as well as to provide research evidence.
  • Attend and represent LPI at relevant meetings, symposia, and conferences, including making public presentations related to content areas of expertise.
  • Support the development of policy memos, briefs, statements, public comments, and letters that bridge practice, research, and policy.  

Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 5 years’ professional experience working closely with or within state or local education agencies focusing on education policy, assessment systems, deeper learning, standards implementation, or related area.
  • Prior experience designing and implementing performance assessment systems at scale (e.g., at the district, school network, or state level)
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic state plans based on review and analysis of state contexts, policies, and ongoing initiatives.
  • Demonstrated understanding of coherent systems of assessment and implications for innovative, large-scale assessment initiatives.
  • Exceptional analytical, writing, and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively, often in time-sensitive situations.
  • Ability to work effectively in an entrepreneurial, collaborative environment.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to manage and coordinate several projects simultaneously, support team members, and track complex tasks.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan effectively and the flexibility to handle the unexpected.
  • Ability and flexibility to travel to states across the country as needed.
  • Authorized to work in the United States for any employer.


  • Passion for ensuring that all children, especially historically underserved students, receive empowering and equitable learning.
  • Interest in developing new areas of expertise, particularly within science performance assessment.
  • Passion for solving complex problems without known solutions.
  • Self-starter mentality and the abilities to work independently, foster collaborative working relationships, and work well in a team setting.
  • Demonstrated commitment to excellence and equity.
  • Ability to execute and exhibit good judgement.
  • Intellectual strength and curiosity to understand and appreciate the varied and complex educational policy landscape.
  • Optimistic outlook and a flexible, innovative nature.
  • Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of supporting and expanding authentic and meaningful learning for students.


Salary commensurate with experience, education, and expertise. Range is $90,000 to $150,000 with some flexibility.

To Apply

Please email your resume, cover letter, and short writing sample to [email protected]. Candidates invited to continue through the interview process will be asked to complete a job-related task/performance assessment at that time.

The Learning Policy Institute has a deep commitment to its staff’s health and well-being and strives to embody the organization’s values within the organizational structure. LPI offers competitive compensation and benefits; prioritizes and provides financial support for professional development; supports diversity, equity, and inclusion work; and values a collaborative culture. LPI is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations in order to work onsite in the office.