Educators assess and predict student performance with precision

Memphis City Schools improves instruction and student achievement with SAS® EVAAS® for K-12

Tennessee is well known as the birthplace of popular musical genres such as country, blues and rock and roll. And in the field of education, it can add a new claim to fame as the place of origin of the  SAS® Educational Value Added Assessment System (EVAAS®), which has helped state educators blaze new trails in the area of academic achievement and growth – for students and teachers alike.

SAS EVAAS for K-12, known locally as the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS), collects student, teacher and school data, providing a view into the academic progress and projections for students, while delivering insight and guidance for instructional decisions and changes that better support individual academic achievement plans.

According to Femetres Gray, Professional Development Coordinator with Memphis City Schools – the 23rd-largest US school district, with 105,000 K-12 students and twice selected as a National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon recipient – if more states used SAS EVAAS for K-12, America would have no trouble in reaching its goal of becoming the most educated country by 2020.

With TVAAS data, the numbers don't lie. It tells the true story of what's happening in the schools and in the classrooms. It's something educators needed a long time ago to truly push instruction.

Femetres Gray
Professional Development Coordinator

"I definitely believe that TVAAS could play a role in moving us toward that goal," says Gray. "If the tool is used the way it's intended – to improve instruction, share best practices between grade levels and schools, make modifications for student interventions and get teachers to look at their true instructional practices – that's definitely an advantage of TVAAS."

Gray – who recently created a series of professional development modules to help principals, teachers and guidance counselors better utilize TVAAS to improve instruction and student achievement – says the system provides a full academic picture, with the ability to drill down to individual students, classrooms and teachers.

"Sometimes we don't see the full value of a school due to perceptions or opinions," she explains. "With TVAAS data, the numbers don't lie. It tells the true story of what's happening in the schools and in the classrooms. It helps teachers to really think about their practices; what they do each and every day with students. You have to look at the data and you have to be honest with yourself. It's something educators needed a long time ago to truly push instruction."

Gray adds that educators are very pleased with the centralized, Web-based system that they can access to find everything they need to know about the educational status of a child.

"For example, when students come into a teacher's classroom at the start of school year, the teacher can access the classroom roster and pull data on each student," she says. "They can see the students' past history, see their projections and then make some preliminary decisions on how best to educate individual students.

"At the district level we have 78 elementary, middle and high schools that we're responsible for.. We can look for trends or patterns at schools and figure out where we need to focus our support. For example, if an elementary teacher is consistently weak in a particular subject, we could recommend a departmentalization at that grade level, allowing educators to teach to their strengths – then the whole academic program is successful at the same time."

Challenge

Required a system to track student academic progress and projections and deliver insight and guidance for instructional changes to student achievement plans.

Solution

SAS® EVAAS® for K-12

Benefits

The SAS solution supports instruction and student intervention best practices; projects student achievement and growth; and provides a centralized, Web-based platform to access students' educational status.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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