The SAM Process Works

Independent studies prove that the SAM Process results in instructional gain for educators

The Wallace Foundation employed an external and independent research group to evaluate the SAM process. Policy Studies Associates began work in 2008 to study and evaluate SAM work. PSA produced its initial evaluation in 2009. This work was updated in 2011 with a larger group of participating SAM schools. The overall findings include:


  1. The SAM process does what it is designed to do: increases principal time spent on instructional leadership

  2. The increase in instructional leadership time is significant—adding the equivalent of more than one day per week in instructional leadership time

  3. The increase of instructional time occurs at all levels: elementary, middle and high

  4. The process works equally well in schools where a new staff member is hired to be the “SAM” and at schools where existing staff members take on this role

  5. The longer the principal participates the greater the instructional time increase


Average principal gain in instructional leadership time:

  • First SAM Year: five hours and fifty-seven more minutes every week: the equivalent of twenty-seven extra days each year

  • Second SAM Year: eight hours and thirty more minutes every week the equivalent of thirty-eight extra days each year

  • Third SAM Year: twelve hours and twenty more minutes every week the equivalent of fifty-five extra days each year