Beaufort County Schools seeks the best education for students with SAS®
Beaufort County Schools in Washington, NC, wanted to take the guesswork out of determining which children need tutoring, which seventh graders are ready to take algebra in eighth grade and which teaching methods are most productive. With SAS EVAAS® (Educational Value-Added Assessment System) for K-12, Beaufort County Schools can predict success probabilities at numerous academic milestones and better measure interventions.
The state of North Carolina tests students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math yearly, and also requires state tests in several high school subject areas. Beaufort County, with 7,239 students at 13 schools, used to compile test results in Excel spreadsheets.
"We would do it by hand and it was a monster,'' explains Ashley Padgett, Beaufort County Curriculum Coordinator for grades 6 through 8.
SAS EVAAS for K-12 builds on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) methodology developed by Dr. William L. Sanders and his colleagues at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Value-added assessment eliminates the possibility of a distorted view of effective schooling by following the progress of individual students. Additionally, SAS EVAAS for K-12 offers a rich environment for educational research. Delivered in a user-friendly and secure Web application, it provides teachers and administrators with a powerful diagnostic tool.
With SAS EVAAS for K-12, Beaufort County:
SAS EVAAS for K-12 pokes holes in education myths
SAS EVAAS for K-12 is also a terrific tool for convincing parents that a certain intervention or placement is the right option. For parents hesitant to let their child take algebra in seventh or eighth grade, the software's prediction can help encourage them to enroll their child in that class.
SAS EVAAS for K-12 is also great at busting myths about which schools do a better job of preparing students for the next level, and looking at transition gaps as a whole. The transition to middle school in grade 5 has been tough for a large number of Beaufort County students across all the middle schools. "So we know this isn't an issue with teachers,'' says Padgett.
What was more interesting was when she looked at grade 9 performance and mapped it back to the middle school attended. The school that was perceived to be not as rigorous actually had the better-prepared students, Padgett adds.
Taking metrics to the next level
"Every time we find a new way to look at the data or analyze the data I say: 'I know I can use this'," Padgett says. "Data is concrete. It helps to tell a story."
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Grade Six Through Eight Curriculum Coordinator
Beaufort County Schools
Required a system to identify students that are most at-risk for failing, make sure all children are making adequate yearly progress in core subject areas, as well as identify students who are capable of taking challenging math courses in middle school.
SAS EVAAS for K-12
Beaufort County Schools can now measure student progress objectively and accurately to improve instruction, strategically plan equitable learning opportunities, employ a system for evaluation and support of teachers and principals and enable more rigorous longitudinal analysis of student test results.
“"Every time we find a new way to look at the data or analyze the data, I say 'I know I can use this'. Data is concrete. It helps to tell a story."”
Grades Six Through Eight Curriculum Coordinator