My Education: BA, Education, Regis College
My Prior Experience: retired teacher of 15 years
My Company: The National Assessment of Educational Progress
Job/Career Overview: I am a testing supervisor for a company in Maryland. I usually have 150 schools to test in the Baltimore area. The tests are conducted by five teams of administrators which are each responsible for around thirty schools apiece. I have to set up the dates for the testing, hire some of the administrators and coordinators and train them, deal with employee- or school-related problems and oversee the day-to-day work and observations of the teams.
Most years I go for a week's training in November and begin preparing for the tests by sending the schools explanatory materials. In January, I observe the teams as they prepare the test materials and administer the tests in a handful of each team's schools. Six weeks of the testing period are devoted to assessments and preassessment visits. The coordinators prepare their teacher counterparts at the preassessment visits by reviewing material that explains the testing process and by setting up locations and times for the tests. They also distribute questionnaires to be completed by the teachers of the students who are being assessed. At the end of the assessment period, after I have returned all the testing material, I evaluate the thirty assessors who have worked for me during the testing cycle.
More Insights: It is always interesting to see how differently things are run at each of the schools. Some schools have principals who want to be a part of the whole process and others whom you only meet once, at the end of the assessment. Each school may do well but a principal's involvement usually makes it easier for us to proceed.
The best part of my job is going into the schools and seeing the students working hard and doing a great job representing students across the state. One of the hardest parts is having to fire or not rehire an assessor.
This job requires a background in education. It is important to know how schools operate. Most of the people who work for my company are former educators. Some are retired businessmen who bring good work skills to the job. It is important to be able to work on a computer because there is also a lot of data entry for the coordinators to complete after the schools have completed the assessments. It also requires a love of children and an interest in seeing children across the country succeed.