Photoelectrons are the main energy source of airglow used to diagnose the state of the ionosphere-thermosphere system. Because of measurement uncertainties and substantial gaps in the historical record, parameterized models of the EUV irradiance and photoelectron flux are generally used to estimate airglow intensities. This paper compares observed and modeled photoelectron spectra from an X3 class flare that occurred on July 15, 2002. The photoelectron data were obtained from the FAST satellite. Model photoelectron spectra were obtained from the Field Line Inter-hemispheric Plasma (FLIP) model using 10 s cadence solar spectra at 1 nm resolution from the Flare Irradiance Spectral Model (FISM). The observed and modeled spectra agree well temporally and spectrally within the uncertainties of the models and data. Systematic differences found between observed and modeled photoelectron spectra suggest that the solar irradiance from FISM could be improved at wavelengths shortward of 17 nm.