Elementary & Secondary Education
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
Since 1983, Westat has been the sampling and data collection contractor for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a survey of educational achievement among elementary and secondary school students. For each assessment cycle, our staff performs the following:
- Samples schools and students,
- Works with state and local authorities to secure each school's cooperation, and
- Administers in-school assessments in a variety of academic subjects.
Data are collected at the national level every year and at the state level every 2 years. In order to provide reliable statistics in years for which both national- and state-level data are collected, more than 15,000 schools and 850,000 students participate in NAEP.
International Comparative Studies
Westat has been the prime contractor for the U.S. component of all but one of the international comparative studies of student achievement noted below. These studies are sponsored by NCES and include the following:
- Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
- Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
- Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)
- Civics Education Study (CES)
Samples ranged from 5,000 to 10,000 pupils in public and private schools. In each case Westat and/or subcontractors conduct the data collection, scoring, preliminary data processing, analysis, and reporting.
National Household Education Survey
The National Household Education Survey uses RDD and CATI technology to survey household respondents on a range of educational issues, including early childhood educational experiences, parent involvement in education, and adult education. Our role has included the following:
- Field testing,
- Ongoing methodologic work,
- Screening between 34,000 and 64,000 households per survey administration to find eligible household members,
- Interviewing from 2,250 up to 24,000 people for each topical survey,
- Writing reports on survey findings, and
- Producing public-use and restricted-use data files for data analysts.
Fast Response Survey System (FRSS)
Through the Fast Response Survey System (FRSS), Westat has conducted more than 90 surveys on policy-relevant topics for NCES, such as the following:
- Distance education,
- Foods and physical activity in elementary schools,
- Courses allowing high school students to earn college credits,
- Internet access in public and private schools,
- Prekindergarten programs in public schools, and
- Public alternative schools and programs for at-risk students.
In addition to developing the questionnaires and collecting data by mail, web, and telephone, Westat analyzes the data and prepares survey reports.
Surveys of Adolescent Risk Behaviors
Under contract to CDC, Westat delivers technical assistance to more than 75 state and local education agencies conducting surveys of adolescent risk behaviors and programs designed to reduce those risks. Our services have included the following:
- Web site development,
- Survey materials,
- Sample selection,
- Data preparation,
- Data analysis assistance, and
- Report preparation.