The quality of assessment data depends on having a data collection field staff with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully prepare for and conduct assessments, and all of whose members are thoroughly trained and frequently monitored to ensure compliance with their responsibilities. To this end, the following criteria were established for selecting NAEP data collectors:
prior NAEP data collection experience,
a preference for applicants with a background in the fields of elementary and secondary education, whether as a teacher or administrator,
strong organizational and time management skills,
ability to work as part of a team,
professional demeanor, and
the ability to speak articulately.
NAEP begins recruiting by contacting the pool of experienced field staff to see if they are interested and available for the upcoming assessment. NAEP also solicits the recommendations of state, district, and school personnel. Other recruitment sources included retired teacher associations, education-related newsletters and websites, and paid advertisements in local newspapers.
New candidates are first screened over the telephone for their professional manner, applicable skills, and experience. Those who pass the initial screening are invited to an in-person interview. Prior to hiring staff, personal references are checked. Candidates are also required to complete the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which is used by employers to verify that a potential new hire is authorized to work in the United States. All candidates are also required to submit their fingerprints, to authorize NAEP to request a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check, and to sign both an affidavit of nondisclosure and a pledge of confidentiality.