Today, states and large districts may have a difficult time preparing RFPs and comparing vendor proposals, and are never quite sure whether assessment contractors are proposing “apples-to-apples” programs. Furthermore, states may have trouble estimating the appropriate cost for their assessments. In the current environment, states can not tell whether prices quoted for an assessment are too high, too low, or about right. Finally, with tight budgets and limited human resources, states may need help in the ongoing assessment implementation and management process.
Assessment Solutions Group Services are designed to assist states in structuring their RFP documents and evaluating vendor responses in order to ensure that proposed assessment programs can be evaluated on a comparable basis, are reasonably priced, and include sufficient quality safeguards. Once a contractor has been selected, ASG will work with the customer to manage the vendor to ensure a quality program is delivered.
In addition, ASG can provide the staff you need when you need them. Specialists in assessment program design, test development, assessment administration, program management, budgeting and accounting, technical support, psychometrics and analysis, IT work, and other aspects of assessment program design, development, implementation and use can be made available to help you meet your staffing needs. You can select just the help that you need and use them as long as you feel is necessary. Assessment Solutions Group provides:
ASG will work with customers to develop the appropriate proposal cost submission worksheets. Properly structured cost worksheets are key to determining whether program requirements are understood by vendors and whether proposed programs are comparable, as well as allowing for the development of numerous program metrics essential in cost negotiations.
- Assessment Program Design. ASG has developed efficient designs for the basic building blocks of assessments that are psychometrically sound, operationally efficient and provide maximum value at a low cost per student. ASG will work with the customer to implement these elements into their assessment programs.
- Quality Preparation. Nothing is more damaging to an assessment program than misprints or a scoring or reporting error. ASG will work with customers to ensure program RFPs include the appropriate quality control and assurance submission requirements.
- RFP Psychometric Section Preparation. ASG will assist the customer in developing the Psychometric section (item and test analysis, equating, scaling, score reporting) of the proposal.
- RFP Administration Review. Significant program costs are tied up in test production, editorial and manufacturing, shipping, scoring (both multiple choice and constructed response) and reporting. ASG works with clients to ensure appropriate quality steps are built into the proposal for these areas.
ASG will assist states with all aspects of preparing the Technical and Cost Sections of the RFP.
Cost Section Analysis
ASG has developed proprietary software that can be used to determine the appropriate price for any assessment. Customers can use ASG to evaluate cost proposals, analyze program metrics and negotiate final program cost/price with the selected bidder(s). ASG will assist the customer or negotiate directly with the contractor to develop the right program price. We recommend a modified BAFO process that consists of cooperative final price and scope negotiations with the vendor to arrive at the value maximizing program cost.
- Design and Development – ASG will work with customers to come up with the most efficient assessment design and process for developing items and test forms
- Administration – Review and evaluation of the other sections of the proposal. ASG ensures administration costs are appropriate and proposed program metrics are consistent with industry standards.
- Psychometrics – ASG will review the data analysis, scaling and equating sections of the proposal submissions.
- Quality – ASG will review vendor proposals to ensure the appropriate assessment program quality steps and procedures are clearly stated. Deficiencies in properly addressing quality procedures will be addressed with the bidder(s).
ASG provides a comprehensive package of services to help states with both the RFP preparation and review and evaluation of the technical and cost proposal responses. The combined package of services can provided for a combined and discounted price.
ASG will manage the customer’s assessment program. ASG has an experienced program management team consisting of individuals with multi-years of industry experience. We can also help augment your staff when critical deadlines or other needs require resources such as:
- IT specification development and requirements gathering.
- Test development management.
- Statistical Analyses.
- Contract budgeting and billing review.
- Program evaluation and improvement.
- Customer acceptance testing.
- Technical support and development.
- Technical report writing
ASG can assist your state to help form a consensus around the nature of its future assessment system. ASG has worked with three states to form stakeholder committees that meet on a regular basis to discuss various aspects of assessment and ultimately, make recommendations for the design of the state’s future assessment system. The sessions include assessment literacy training, presentations on current topics in assessment, group exercises and discussions. The state stakeholder group is further informed by the use of surveys and focus groups conducted by ASG, as well as presentations on assessments currently on the market. Finally, ASG can also conduct independent research and report on the results of the research, as well as the task force process via a final report to the state.
Program Cost Analysis And Review
This service consists of an evaluation of the cost of a current program. ASG will evaluate the cost of a current program against industry metrics and identify potential cost reduction opportunities.
Vendor Price Negotiation
After analyzing the cost of an assessment, ASG will work collaboratively with program vendors and the customer to reduce its cost.
Site visits to vendors to audit processes, quality procedures and identify any problems with their ability to deliver the program. This work can be done prior to, during or after a program has been awarded.