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Senior Psychometrician

Date: Jul 14, 2019

Location: Evanston, IL, US, 60201

Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Job Requisition ID: 15267

Additional Locations: 

HMH is looking for a Psychometrician to join the Learning Sciences, Measurement, Research, and Data Science Division. Overall, the Psychometrician position will support HMH’s assessment design, psychometric analysis, interim assessment and growth research, and statistical programming activities to further the goals of HMH to transform into a learning company through integrating assessment with instructional content. By doing so, the psychometrician position will be involved with developing and marketing a set of innovative assessments and providing support toward validity studies and documenting the technical aspects of HMH’s assessment offerings.


The Psychometrician will contribute to, and be accountable for and assist with, all technical aspects of assigned projects, including item and test analyses, growth modeling, IRT calibration, equating, scaling, prediction studies, and norms development.


Candidates interested in this position should have a strong working knowledge of and interest in the assessment challenges facing K-12 education, have a collaborative working style, and expertise in psychometric modeling, statistical programming, research methodology, and interest in supporting data analytic initiatives.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Work with the Director of the Measurement, Research, and Data Science with HMH’s Learning Science Division, Principal Psychometricians, subject-matter experts, and/or clients/customers to select statistical analyses that will best demonstrate the psychometric characteristics of the various assessment product offering of HMH.
  • Manages large and complex data files, apply statistical analysis software such as R, and/or SAS, and utilize IRT calibration software (e.g., Winsteps, FlexMIRT, and dedicated R packages) to evaluate and model these data.
  • Conducts analyses and creates visual displays to lead interpretation of the data. May assist in leading the development of computer adaptive testing systems, which includes multistage adaptive designs and automated test assembly.
  • Initiate, plan, and select, appropriate statistical and psychometric methodologies involved in the accurate scoring, analysis, and reporting of assessment programs. Identifies issues and risks in data and psychometric analyses and creates plans to mitigate the risk. Leads efforts on quality assurance and quality checking procedures.
  • Initiates and lead procedures for presenting technical characteristics of tests and evaluates the extent to which product development activities will result in sound assessment products. Makes recommendations to improve the robustness of assessments.
  • Supports the HMH research agenda by managing, collecting, and organizing journal articles, reports, and other documents, and analyzing student assessment data for various research projects, conference presentations, and papers for publication
  • Investigate quality control mechanisms that help ensure the consistent production of items and test forms
  • May lead and works with a team to ensure that procedures for meeting test development standards are included in project and research specifications.
  • Able to independently implement a research study design and follow analysis specifications.
  • Serves as the point of contact for internal and external customers regarding the technical characteristics of current tests or those under development.
  • Collaborates with colleagues to coordinate work with large or multiple projects and to negotiate schedules with project management staff.
  • Supports hiring process through applicant interviewing
  • Demonstrates project management skills necessary to lead all Measurement & Research-related aspects of a small-to-medium operational assessment program or research project, or a portion of a large and complex assessment program or research project
  • Demonstrates communication skills (oral, written, and business) necessary to function effectively as a primary contact with internal project teams and external clients with guidance from more senior staff
  • Conducts operational and theoretical research (20%) to produce internal White papers, conference presentations, and journal publications.
  • Ability to develop and implement simulation studies investigating assorted measurement issues a plus.


Education and Experience

  • Doctorate in psychometrics, educational measurement, statistics or closely related content area
  • 3+ years’ experience working in a testing-related field with demonstrable experience in solving psychometric problems and providing solutions OR recent graduate with a PhD in psychometric and educational measurement with research and presentation/publishing portfolio may be considered.
  • Demonstrated professional achievement through presentations at professional conferences and/or publications in professional journals is a plus.


Knowledge and Skills

  • Experience with IRT calibration, scaling, equating, norming, and growth measures.
  • Experience with computer adaptive testing.
  • Experience with multi-stage testing and/or automated test assembly is preferred.
  • Knowledge of technical requirements, test statistics, and APA/AERA Standards and ability to perform psychometric analyses that meet all professional standards of test development and score uses.
  • Knowledge of support tools such as Microsoft Office/EXCEL, experience with computer software packages commonly used in psychometric work and research (e.g., R , SAS, WINSTEPS, FlexMIRT).
  • Strong R programming skills and experience with IRT-related R packages a plus. Knowledge of Bayesian statistical methods a plus as well as knowledge of Java, Javascript, and HTML.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze large data sets efficiently
  • Ability to apply knowledge gained through experience in test development to prepare project specifications, anticipate implementation problems, and support the projects through to completion
  • Demonstrate strong organizational and communication skills and be able to function independently and collaboratively on research projects
  • Ability to adapt test theory for practical applications
  • Approaches testing and assessments problems with an analytical, flexible, and investigative mind
  • Strong organizational and communication skills


Physical Requirements

  • Might be in a stationary position for a considerable time (sitting and/or standing).
  • The person in this position needs to move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office machinery, etc.
  • Constantly operates a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer.
  • Must be able to collaborate with colleagues via face to face, conference calls, and online meetings.
  • Travel to meetings and conferences as needed (less than 15%)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom.  HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is an equal employment opportunity employer and participates in E-Verify. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.


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