North Carolina to use SAS® EVAAS® for K-12 in teacher, principal evaluations

Measuring student growth key to earning NCLB waiver

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has chosen SAS to help measure students' progress and the effectiveness of teachers, principals and schools. The state will use SAS® Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS®) for K-12 to measure student growth, one of several standards for evaluating many of the nearly 97,000 teachers and more than 5,300 school administrators in North Carolina.

Student progress indicates how much students learned over the school year, regardless of where they started. SAS EVAAS for K-12 measures progress using all relevant test scores. SAS was chosen following extensive research of eight different models.

"SAS Education Value-Added Assessment System collects student growth data that drives improvements in teaching and learning in North Carolina public schools," said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison. "This tool helps educators gauge student progress and identify students who are falling behind. It provides another resource for teachers and school leaders as they prepare students for success in college and careers."

NC DPI will add the student growth standard to the five currently used to evaluate teachers and seven for principals. Public reports on all standards will be available at school and district levels. NC DPI will not report results for individual teachers, but teachers may access their own data to guide professional development.

SAS EVAAS for K-12, available in NC since 2001, became available to all the state's public schools in 2006. State Superintendent June Atkinson spoke with many principals and superintendents that already use it extensively.

"SAS Education Value-Added Assessment System has provided valuable insight into students and teachers for many schools and districts," said Atkinson. "It spotlights high performing teachers whose expertise can be shared and provides critical information for professional development discussions."

SAS EVAAS for K-12 was an important part of North Carolina receiving a waiver for the No Child Left Behind Act, giving the state more control over standards, curriculum and spending. To receive a waiver, North Carolina showed independent progress in several areas, including using student test data to support accountability and inform personnel decisions. Tennessee, a longtime statewide user of SAS EVAAS for K-12, received one of the first waivers.

"Our schools need more flexibility to individualize instruction, focus on critical thinking skills and better prepare our students for today's workforce," said Atkinson.

SAS EVAAS for K-12 is used by hundreds of districts in more than 20 states, and its reliability has been independently confirmed by four separate US Department of Education Peer Review Committees and the US Government Accountability Office. NC DPI selected WestEd, a nonprofit education research and development agency, to evaluate the possible models and make a recommendation.

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