Helping students achieve academic excellence

SAS® predictive analytics school Tennessee educators on student success

Educators in Tennessee earn high marks for using analytics to help students achieve academic excellence and growth. In fact, it was at the University of Tennessee that Dr. William L. Sanders used SAS to develop the state’s educational value-added assessment system (EVAAS). Thanks to his work, Tennessee educators can predict K-12 academic performance to develop individual plans to help each student succeed.

Deborah Boyd, Associate Dean of the College of Education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, understands firsthand the positive effects that SAS® EVAAS® for K-12 can have on academic success. The former high-school principal used the State of Tennessee's own system, named TVAAS, and she followed its use as a state administrator. Today, she uses it for her college's undergraduate and graduate programs.

"TVAAS data gives us a picture of students and their growth that we can't get elsewhere," Boyd explains. "We may believe, as teachers and administrators, that we know where a child is going, and yet we may be wrong because we don't have the appropriate background information that TVAAS can collect. It has become a valuable tool for measuring something that is difficult to measure: student growth from year to year.

"The predictive quality of TVAAS data allows us to see if what we are doing is having the appropriate effect on a student's growth," Boyd adds. "And not just while a student is in our classrooms, but over the long term as that student reaches out to the future we are preparing them for."

I've become a believer that, with the amount of data that's being collected, TVAAS is a useful tool to help develop and plan the educational goals of today's students.

Deborah Boyd
Associate Dean

Plotting a course for the future

Boyd says the data from TVAAS allows educators to predict each student's performance, based on the average academic experience, and use that information to help students reach their potential.

"TVAAS helps us make more informed decisions, and act on them with confidence, about the appropriate path for each student," explains Boyd. "So many times we think it only applies to low-achieving students, but so often we have high-achieving students who could achieve more with a change in their educational process plan. This is important for the future of not just Tennessee, but the nation. TVAAS helps us understand that every student needs to grow each year, and it helps us determine whether we've done our jobs.

"One of the most significant things we've done with individual principals is to show them the power of the data," she continues. "It's been a real joy working with them and opening their eyes to how they can use the tool to make effective change within their schools."

Moving students in the right direction

According to Boyd, the TVAAS model has helped the education system rethink how it looks at student achievement each year.

"While we like snapshots of student achievement, it's wonderful to be able to pair that with where the student is going and look at whether it's a trajectory with which we agree or that we'd like to change," she explains. "We begin to see that there are limitless options for all of our students. We can see that we're moving students who perhaps had never considered college into college readiness and students who had always considered college into college preparation and certainty.

"The depth of the TVAAS database and its predictive capabilities have won a lot of us over. I've become a believer that, with the amount of data that's being collected, TVAAS is a useful tool to help develop and plan the educational goals of today's students."

Challenge

Collect and analyze data to help educators build student-specific education plans for individual academic achievement and growth.

Solution

SAS® EVAAS® for K-12

Benefits

Educators can measure each student's individual growth annually and predict academic achievement, thus gaining and pinpointing opportunities to enhance each child's potential.

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