Distribution of materials for NAEP assessments is accomplished in three phases:
All initial outbound shipments are recorded in the materials distribution's Outbound Mail Management system. This information is uploaded from a computer workstation to the mainframe daily. A computer program can then access information to produce reports on all shipments sent. These reports help the materials distribution staff trace shipments not received by data collection supervisors or assessment administrators.
The NAEP materials distribution contractor packages and distributes bulk, school, and session materials to the data collection administrators. Bulk shipments include materials that can be used by the administrator from one session to another, such as ancillary items, pencils, and additional booklets. Session materials contain items needed to administer the session, such as (depending on the subject area ) booklets, writing brochures, timers, calculators, and ancillary items. The materials distribution packaging staff pre-assemble ancillary items into appropriately sized groupings for distribution.
To return materials back to the materials distribution staff, the United Parcel Service Authorized Return Service system is utilized. Preprinted mailing labels and a return shipment fax form is shipped to each data collection administrator. The administrator completes the form and faxes it to the toll-free fax number on the form. If there are problems with the fax form, the administrator contacts the materials distribution staff directly.
The materials distribution staff maintains a toll-free telephone line for the data collection administrators to request additional materials for NAEP assessments. An e-mail address and a toll-free fax number is also provided. To assist in ordering additional materials, a materials request form is provided in their bulk supplies. This form lists all items available and can be faxed directly to the materials distribution staff.
To process a short shipment, information is entered into the materials distribution staff's short shipment system called NAEP Distribution System. The shipping address of the person requesting the materials is displayed on the screen and verified with the caller or email/fax request. This information can be edited on the screen. Items needed are selected and verified.
After completion of the order, the system routes the information to the materials distribution packaging department. A designated printer produces a packing list and mailing labels, which the packaging staff use to gather the requested items and mail to the data collection administrator. Staff also receive phone calls and e-mails concerning shipment delivery dates, tracing of shipments, and added sessions, as well as other questions about NAEP.