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Prepare, Package, and Distribute

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Once the assessment has been loaded on the tablets, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) coordinates the logistics to ensure the assessment, supporting materials, and equipment are prepared and delivered to assessment administrators.

The materials distribution system software is utilized for this activity, which lists the following data:

  • information containing shipping addresses,
  • scheduled assessment dates,
  • student names,
  • student demographic information, and
  • a listing of all materials available for use by a participant in a particular subject.

Tablets are then imaged and run through a quality control process to ensure all assessment materials are packed in secured shipping containers for each “classroom set.” They are then scanned into an inventory control system via a unique bar code and identification number, and assigned to receiving assessment coordinators across the country. 

Spiraling—a method used to ensure that any group of participating students will receive predetermined proportions of different types of items on the tablets—is done according to the pattern specified by NAEP test developers. This ensures that the sample size needed for each subject per grade is captured. The materials staff use the online bundle assignment and distribution system to complete the final packaging process. 

For information about the packaging and distribution of paper-and-pencil assessments, explore NAEP technical documentation on materials and processing.

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Last updated 20 December 2018 (FC)