Assessment Data Operations Specialist

State of Colorado
Full Time 160 per week $86,500 - $98,000 Per year CO Colorado Career Center, 1470 Jersey St, Denver, CO 80220, United States


Department Information

Incumbent will be required to complete work for CDE within Colorado.
This announcement is posted until filled or preferred candidate(s) are identified; it is in your best interest to apply early. 

Colorado Department of Education – What We Do 
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) provides leadership, resources, support, and accountability to the state's 178 school districts, 1,888 schools, over 53,000 teachers, and over 3,200 administrators to help them build capacity to meet the needs of the state's approximately 905,000 public school students. In addition, CDE provides structural and administrative support to the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind and the Charter School Institute.

As the administrative arm of the , CDE is responsible for implementing state and federal education laws, disbursing state and federal funds, holding schools and districts accountable for performance, licensing all educators, and providing public transparency of performance and financial data.

CDE is a values-based agency that serves students, parents, and the general public by protecting public trust through ensuring adherence to laws, strong stewardship of public funds, and accountability for student performance.

Why Work For CDE
The work we do is rewarding and impacts the students, families, educators, and communities across Colorado. Our leadership also promotes a culture that puts families and self-care as a priority. Along with meaningful work and an environment that puts employees first, the state also offers rich benefits that intend to make us an Employer of Choice!
The following is a summary of the benefits we offer:
  • Flexible work schedules and flexible workplace options that may include flexible working hours, working from home, working in the office, and/or a hybrid working environment.
  • Premier medical, dental, vision, and dependent life insurance options. All with a generous employer contribution keeping employee costs as low as possible.
  • Employer paid short-term disability and life insurance
  • Up to 160 hours of Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML)
  • 11 paid holidays per year
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals
  • Retirement through the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)
  • Employer paid RTD Eco Pass (certain restrictions may apply)
  • Paid professional development opportunities

Description of Job

Work Environment:

This position is Full-time, Hybrid (Remote/Home Office w/requirement to report to Work location per business needs)
Position Summary:
The Assessment Data Operations Specialist position is responsible for the data collection, validation, and end-to-end management of all state assessment (CMAS, PSAT/SAT, ACCESS for ELLs, and CoAlt) data files.  This includes pre-ID/enrollment, student biographical data review, final score, and warehouse data and files, guaranteeing the integrity and precision of assessment data in compliance with state and federal assessment requirements and the protection of student personally identifiable information.

Importantly, this position is responsible for extensive guidance and training to support Colorado’s local education agencies throughout the assessment data collection and reporting process. This position requires collaboration with various units across the department to determine collection changes necessitated by legislation or regulation and to provide data needed to fulfill reporting, technical assistance, monitoring and analysis obligations, as well as working with vendors to ensure the seamless flow of data between vendor, CDE, and local education agency data systems, as well as consistency in data elements across assessments to the extent possible. At the end of the assessment cycle, this position is responsible for the creation and validation of public reporting of the state’s assessment results as required by federal law.

In addition, this position will serve as the Assessment Division's data subject matter expert and must be able to complete analyses related to the state assessments (CMAS, PSAT/SAT, ACCESS for ELLs, and CoAlt) as directed by Assessment Division leadership in response to requests made by internal (division, department, and Board) and external (Colorado school/district personnel, researchers, legislators, other) stakeholders.

The workload for this position ebbs and flows throughout the year, peaking in demand in spring and early summer with support to districts in completing student biographical and test data validation of approximately a million and a half records under a tight timeline within a series of rigid dependencies. The person in this position must be able and willing to succeed in meeting the requirements of this high demand period. These related activities are vital to provide foundational data supporting Colorado’s school and district accountability systems and other critical department evaluation activities.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

• Collaborate with other divisions and units to ensure that the assessment data ultimately provided in the warehouse meets departmental
• Serve as the program lead in the development and implementation of assessment data processes throughout the assessment cycles using
   both department and vendor systems.  These processes include:
       o Providing and updating lists of districts and schools that participate in each assessment program for assessment vendors.
       o Designing, testing, and implementing the process to create and validate student-level pre-registration files from CDE’s student
           interchange and upload the files into vendor systems for each assessment program by the predetermined deadlines.
       o Preparing, submitting, and presenting data fields, variables, definitions, and collection processes to and acquiring approval from the
          Educational Data Advisory Committee for all collections.
       o After a testing window closes, but prior to the creation of final score files, district data respondents have the opportunity to review
          and update the demographics of students who participated as well as to provide reason-not-tested codes for students who did not
          participate in a state assessment.  This process is referred to as Student Biographical Data (SBD) review.  The person in this position is
          responsible for leading the development and implementation of SBD procedures for districts to ensure that assessment data reflects
          accurate student demographics and that student records are maintained from start to finish.  For each of the four assessments, this
               - creating, maintaining, and revising sets of business rules and technical specifications for work performed by the information
                 management services (IMS) division,
               - conducting user acceptance testing of CDE’s data pipeline system prior to each data collection,  
               - developing and publishing support resources including but not limited to file layouts, data dictionaries, manuals, webinar
                 trainings, and data collection process support materials
               - providing email and phone support and technical assistance to districts and their data respondents
       o Consolidating updated student demographics from district SBD review, validating the data (clean and identify and rectify coding
          errors) and eliminating duplicate records to the extent practicable, and uploading into vendor systems prior to vendor creation of
          score reports.
• Work collaboratively with assessment vendors to:
      o Ensure schedule and quality expectations are met regarding assessment data files including timelines and data formats for file           transfers between the department and each vendor. Actively participate in weekly project management calls as needed.
      o Create and review data layouts, business rules, and report specifications.
      o Lead the development and implementation of data validation processes to ensure the accuracy of assessment data received from and
          returned to vendors.
      o Advocate (as needed) for CO interests in multi-state consortia regarding data processes
• Collaborate with CDE Assessment Division and IMS Data Pipeline developers and data warehouse staff to:
      o Develop and implement data validation processes to ensure the accuracy of data loading, transformation, aggregation, and reporting
          duties performed by the information management services (IMS) division.
      o Support the documentation of procedures for all data collection and analyses conducted by the Assessment Division.  This includes
         creating, maintaining, and revising sets of business rules and technical specifications.
      o Develop and validate annual assessment public reports and data visualizations for distribution to and use by the state board of
          education, the media, school/district personnel, and the general public.
• Fulfill external and internal data and analyses requests and provide associated technical assistance. 

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

Master’s or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher education in data/information management, statistics, computer programming, psychometrics, or closely related field OR four (4) years’ of professional experience in data management, data analysis, statistics, or computer programming.

A highly qualified candidate will hold a Master's degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education in information management, statistics, computer programming, or related field.

Qualifications for Success in the Position:
• Advanced data cleaning, including identifying and rectifying programming and field coding errors; preparation; and analysis competency
   with large and multiple data sets. Mastery of analysis programs, querying tools and or database applications (i.e., Excel, TOAD, Oracle SQL)
   with at least three years of professional development experience with complex SQL queries (e.g., nested queries, subqueries, and
   commands such as MERGE INTO and INSERT INTO).
• Possess a solid foundation in statistics and experience with running basic statistical analyses (e.g. mean, standard deviation, cumulative
   distributions) statistical software Experience developing data file layouts with clearly defined variables and database requirements.
• Professional experience working with multiple data file formats (primarily .xlsx, .csv, and .txt) including conversions between formats.
• Experience with the refinement of data management practices to ensure the accuracy and reproducibility of results, including data quality
• Ability to determine business requirements and translate those requirements into business rules and/or technical requirements.
• Ability to develop and implement user acceptance testing protocols to verify functionality of business rules, error messages, and data
• Experience with student demographic data and school, district, and/or state student level data collections (student assessment data
• Excellent written and oral communications skills to explain complex and technical data concepts with people of varying levels of knowledge
   of data, assessments, and results.  Ability to create data presentations/visualizations to make assessment data quickly and easily
   understandable to a variety of audiences.
• Proven project management skills.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office products.
Work Style:
• Strong focus on customer service (i.e., school districts, BOCES, other CDE units, etc.).
• Ability to manage multiple priorities under pressure and maintain quality of detailed work while meeting competing deadlines. Must have
   excellent organizational skills and be highly detail oriented.
• Demonstrates initiative and  exhibits a proactive approach to professional work with evidence of strong logical thinking and problem
   analysis skills.
• A self starter with the ability and willingness to work independently, as well as collaboratively to contribute to the success of the team.
• The ability to pass a background check, which includes a motor vehicle records search.
A highly-qualified candidate will also have one or more of the following preferred experiences and skills:
• Five years’ experience working with K-12 education data at a district or state level.
• Familiarity with state-wide, large-scale assessment.
• Database certification and extensive (at least five years) experience with complex SQL queries.
• Experience working on a technical quality assurance team.
• Familiarity with federal and state laws, rules, and policies regarding assessment and accountability.
• Understanding of the software development lifecycle (SDLC)

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be willing and able to submit to the pre-screening process and pass a background check.