ALBANY, N.Y. — The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) on Monday unveiled details of a groundbreaking metrics project that is in the works.
A statement released by the NAPT board of directors quoted Mark Aesch, one of the keynote speakers at the NAPT Summit in Cincinnati last fall, to describe the association's view of the “next big thing” in pupil transportation:
“High performance organizations are built and sustained by clearly staking out a destination, designing a measurement system to track success and having the courage to make the necessary decisions to get there,” Aesch said.
Aesch’s message was simple and straightforward, the NAPT board noted: Like it or not, “metrics,” which are quantitative and qualitative measurements that help school administrators and taxpayers understand school transportation service, are here to stay.
According to NAPT President Alexandra Robinson, who is executive director of transportation for the New York City Department of Education, the association is therefore developing a variety of customized metrics, including key performance indicators (KPI), to help NAPT members provide the best service possible — and then be able to prove it.
“We often hear people in pupil transportation say, ‘We are committed to providing safe, efficient and effective service,’” Robinson said. “But what does that mean exactly? How can you verify that? How do you quantify it? That’s what this project is all about.”
The project had a soft launch at the 2011 NAPT Summit, and nearly 50 people volunteered on the spot to help work on it. Since then, the volunteers have been conducting research, assessing information technology, defining metrics (including KPIs) and developing the project outline and timeline.
According to NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin, “The work groups are already making significant progress — so much so that we may be able to begin collecting data this spring.”
In the meantime, Martin and the KPI project team are evaluating a variety of information technology options and will ultimately select a system that will enable participants to communicate online, quickly, communally, anytime and without travel.
“We want to facilitate discussion and interaction among as many people as possible and give them a chance to participate in this project,” Martin said.
NAPT is encouraging any of its members interested in being involved to contact NAPT headquarters via e-mail.