NAEP State Service Center
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Westat's NAEP State Service Center (NSSC) provides ongoing support and training for full-time NAEP state coordinators across the Nation. A total of 51 states and jurisdictions have full-time coordinators. The primary role of state coordinators is to coordinate NAEP assessments in their states, which involves recruiting schools, performing quality assurance of NAEP samples of schools and demographic data, organizing submission of student lists, ensuring parental notification, and advising schools about the appropriate inclusion and assessment of students with disabilities and students who are English language learners. State coordinators are also responsible for analyzing and reporting state NAEP data, disseminating information about the NAEP assessment and results, and promoting awareness of NAEP in their states. Beginning in 2002, the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) was added to NAEP. Since 2003, 10 districts have participated in this assessment. Districts do not have Federally funded coordinators, but do have staff members who coordinate the TUDA program in their districts. The NSSC also provides targeted support and training to the TUDA district coordinators.
In addition to the NAEP State Coordinators, Westat hires more than 6,500 field staff to meet the challenges of the NAEP project, consisting of Field Directors, Field Managers, Supervisors, Assessment Administrators, and Assessment Coordinators. Every other year, Westat develops rich media in-person training for NAEP Assessment Coordinators and Assessment Administrators. This consists of a 2-5 hour in-person training presentation that includes video, animated form procedures, and narrated screens. There is also an online home-study version for the Assessment Coordinators to study prior to attending the in-person training and to prepare them to train the Assessment Administrators. The presentation is scripted and merged with provided language that the presenter speaks in order to have consistent training in each state. The nature of this project requires the highest levels of consistency and accuracy to ensure reliable and comparable results across the country. The Assessment Coordinator training is run for approximately 1,200 coordinators and the Assessment Administrators training for approximately 5,000 administrators nationwide.
Corresponding manuals are produced that include procedural content parallel to the in-person training as well as packets of exercises that are conducted during the training. Westat produces a series of magazines and publications for field staff to assist them with recruitment, gaining cooperation, leadership, hiring, and reporting. The coordinators and administrators also utilize a centralized website (School Control System) for managing the assessments and school logistics. To promote school participation, Westat also develops a variety of materials to disseminate information about the assessments to public and private schools and to assist with the role of the School Coordinators and Teachers.
As the NSSC, Westat conducts in-person orientations for new coordinators and several 3-day workshops each year. Westat also conducts web seminars, web-based computer labs, and/or web-based meetings on a weekly basis. Training topics include the NAEP program for each year, introductory statistics, software for data analysis and collection, NAEP frameworks, data analysis and interpretation, development of effective data displays and reports, and issues associated within large-scale assessment programs. The NSSC provides state-of-the-art technology (i.e., laptops, desktop PCs, and color laser printers), technology training, and on-call support. On-call support assists coordinators in interpreting NAEP policy, performing quality assurance, formatting data in Excel, and addressing a variety of other issues and concerns. Westat is also responsible for:
- Providing content and design for a private website to assist coordinators with their daily duties and
- Arranging logistics for meetings and other gatherings for the NSSC.
In addition, Westat arranged the travel and accommodations and provided computers, statistical software, and Ethernet capability for participants in the Graduate Certificate Program in the Large-Scale Education Assessment, a program offered by NCES and the University of Maryland from 2002 to 2004.