NAEP field staff are responsible for securing participation of nonpublic schools. Two approaches are used to gain the cooperation of these schools, one for Catholic schools, the other for nonpublic, non-Catholic schools.
For Catholic schools, the process begins by mailing informational materials and, when possible, an endorsement letter from the National Catholic Education Association to dioceses. Following the mailing, field supervisors contact the dioceses to discuss the assessment and obtain permission to contact the sampled schools within each diocese. If the diocese grants permission to contact their schools, NAEP field staff mail materials directly to the selected schools and follow up with a telephone call to each school to secure its participation. If the diocese does not grant access to its schools, substitute schools in other dioceses with characteristics similar to the unavailable schools are selected and recruited.
NAEP field staff directly contact the administrators of nonpublic, non-Catholic schools. When possible, staff will include an endorsement letter from private school organizations, such as the Council for American Private Education, in an initial mailing of informational materials.