The 2000 state assessment sample design utilized a multistage probability sampling approach for all participating jurisdictions. The assessment tested fourth- and eighth-graders in the subject areas of mathematics and science. The first stage sampled public schools from the participating jurisdiction. After designating assessment sessions for the selected schools, the final stage sampled students from those schools and assigned them to sessions.
Before sampling began, the state assessment defined its target population for the state or jurisdiction and created a school sampling frame. A stratification of schools within the sampling frame enabled the school sample to represent a variety of student groups. Next, schools were selected and assigned sessions. Within the sampled schools, the student sample selection identified which students would participate in each assessment session.