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WestEd Position Announcement

Position Title: English/Language Arts (ELA) Passage Searcher ($140–$245 per accepted passage)
Program: Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services
Hourly Rate: Compensation: $140–$245 per accepted passage
Location: Home Office
Position No: 5038

WestEd — a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency — works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd has more than a dozen offices nationwide, from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Georgia, to Illinois, Arizona, and California, with headquarters in San Francisco.

Position Description

Program Overview:
Based in San Francisco, the Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services (SAAS) program is involved extensively at the state and national levels in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating standards and assessment tools, methods, and systems. SAAS serves as the test-development contractor for high-stakes assessment programs in several states, and staff perform standards evaluation and alignment studies as well as conduct research on the technical aspects of assessments for general education students and students with special needs. Many staff also work to address broader concerns of the Common Core State Standards initiative or school effectiveness. Our wide range of projects and services spans many domains and content areas, including language arts, mathematics, science, social sciences, the arts, and technology.

Position Description:
SAAS is seeking qualified individuals to serve as English/Language Arts (ELA) Passage Searchers who will contribute to the delivery of high-quality products in the field of student assessment. Successful candidates will work with the WestEd Manager and Content Leads finding and delivering Reading test passages for literary and informational genres that meet the rigor of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Passage Searchers will be given guidelines and specific assignments. Passage searchers will work off-site and submit their work electronically.

  • Research, prepare, and submit high-quality passages (public domain and/or permissionable) that conform to WestEd passage search guidelines, including for bias and sensitivity issues, and that can yield specified CCSS-aligned assessment items.
  • Ensure that passages meet WestEd passage searching guidelines and specifications as well as project-specific guidelines.

  • Develop a deep understanding of provided project materials (guidelines, passage specifications, Common Core State Standards, passage submission process, etc.).

  • Work with readability measures, including online readability applications and qualitative complexity rubrics.

  • Work collaboratively with content leads and coordinators assigned to projects.

  • Demonstrate growth and improvement as necessary during passage searching cycle for each project.

  • Attend kick-off meetings and all trainings for each project.


  • Degree in English, Library Science, or a related field (Master's degree preferred, but not required)

  • Strong ELA content knowledge, specifically for grades 2–8.

  • Significant familiarity with the Common Core State Standards for Reading, Writing, and Language and the Appendix A text guidelines.

  • Knowledge of literary and informational genres and sub-genres (such as, poetry, drama, science, social studies).

  • Strong passage search skills and knowledge and familiarity with passage search tools (e.g., libraries, EBSCO database, websites)

  • Passage searching experience for assessment purposes to CCSS rigor.

  • Assessment item writing and/or editorial experience to the increased rigor of the Common Core State Standards is highly desired.

  • Teaching experience or a background in ELA preferred.

  • Ability to follow detailed rules, guidelines, and processes for researching and submitting passages.

  • Strong analytical/critical thinking skills.

  • Open to feedback and review.

  • Ability to meet deadlines within tight timelines.

  • Ability to communicate and send files via email and the Internet.

  • Ability to learn and use web-based file sharing system.

Technical Qualifications:
Passage searchers must have:
  • Consistent access to high-speed Internet for email and WestEd’s web-based file sharing system.

  • Facility with Microsoft Office Suite of products, including Word and Excel.

  • Access to scanner with OCR capability to scan passages from printed material into PDF format.

  • PDF software application with markup capability.

Application Process

We invite you to Apply for this Position.

If you are an individual with a disability and need an accommodation to complete the online application process, please call 415.615.3131. Please leave a message and a member of our Human Resources team will return your call within three business days. Alternatively, you may send an email to with "Applicant Accommodation" in the subject line of the email. Please note that this phone number and email are only for those individuals with a disability who would like to request an accommodation to apply for a job. If you are not an individual with a disability and have a question or comment, please email

Human Resources
730 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

WestEd is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veterans’ status or other status protected by applicable law.