Sampling strategies for local assessment of impact on P-12 students

In order to complete local assessments of impact on P-12 students, we must sample from the population of beginning teachers.  CAEP recommends 20% of the teacher candidate population be included in the sample population.  If possible, sampling should be random and weighted by key characteristics.  However, there may be opportunities to target specific program elements or school partners needs that can be addressed using these approaches and sampling can then be based on intentional selection of teachers.

When identifying a sample for any investigation of impact on student learning, we encourage teacher educators to expect that early career teacher participants should represent:

  • multiple types of schools (e.g., urban, suburban, rural, public, private, charter);

  • each of the program’s licensure content areas; and

  • multiple grade levels within each content area.

We also encourage all programs to make an early request for participation in these assessments.  Voluntary participation in a student impact measure activity could be obtained at the end of beginning teachers’ programs or student teaching. We recommend adding a “check box” to the Exit Survey requesting participation in a Focus Group on Student Impact or Student Work Sample Interview after completing the preparation programs.  Programs should ensure directory information is attached to the volunteer’s survey in order to contact them in the future.

Table 4.1

Possible Sampling Strategies


Student Work Sample Interviews are semi-structured interviews in which teachers examine, discuss, and analyze the features present in student work (Little, Gearhart, Curry, & Kafka, 2003; McDonald, 2002).  Prior research in this area has found student work sampling to be an effective form of “guided inquiry to facilitate teachers in developing a stronger inquiry-stance on learning and encouraging their pupils to do the same” (D’Souza, 2012, p. 85).


The approach to student work sampling provided here is designed as an individual interview with an early career teacher.  Context for these interviews is an important consideration given that beginning teachers are developing their understanding of students, curriculum, and use of data to inform instruction in the first years of practice.  Years of teaching experience and the consistency of the teaching context across those years will impact how the beginning teachers perform in the interview.


STEP 1: Invite beginning teacher to participate and secure agreement with school principals

Table 4.2

Teacher Recruitment Template


Table 4.3

Template for Principal Contacts


Student work samplE interview

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