High points in education
High Point Central High School raises its overall proficiency from below 60 percent to the 70th percentile
When Revonda Johnson began her tenure as principal at High Point Central High School five years ago, the school's overall proficiency scores were below 60 percent. But after implementing SAS® EVAAS® for K-12, an analysis and reporting system that delivers diagnostic information about past performance and predicts students' success probabilities, the school is now in the 70th percentile.
Used to formulate individualized educational paths for students and as a guide for instruction, SAS EVAAS for K-12 has become a source of motivation and accountability for teachers and students alike at High Point Central High School in the Guilford County Schools district of North Carolina.
"Our school uses SAS EVAAS data to drive our instruction," explains Principal Revonda Johnson. "We use predictor scores to see where the students are and set goals for where they need to be, so that we can drive our instruction to help kids be proficient and demonstrate growth. The system has also helped us improve teacher instruction and fostered collaboration among teachers.
"I meet with teachers and use the data to determine how we will group students to make sure we meet their needs from a resource perspective. We have shown that hiring retired teachers as tutors for lower-level students, as well as increasing tutoring during the day, has delivered positive results."
Used correctly, students will not fall through the cracks. It will allow students and teachers to get better and grow. The data drives everything. High Point Central is living proof of that.
Aligning student needs with teaching skills
According to Amy Holcomb, Executive Director of Talent Development for Guilford County Schools and a former district principal, SAS EVAAS for K-12 is also helping to allocate teaching resources across the county, to ensure that student educational needs are aligned with the right teaching competencies.
"Our goal is to achieve an equitable distribution of the most effective teachers across the district, so that all of our students have access to the very best teachers," explains Holcomb. "At curriculum meetings, we look at budget and resource restraints to see where we need more focus. SAS EVAAS uses color codes to illustrate which courses we're doing well in and which ones are suffering and need additional development. When you have a restricted budget and resources, it makes it easy to know where to make investments."
In addition to helping to improve instructional practices and student achievement and growth, SAS EVAAS for K-12 has helped make teachers and students more accountable for their success and their failures.
"When I was teaching in the classroom, the accountability was there but not as strong," says Johnson. "Coming from a county that didn't use a system like this, or provide the resources to help teachers, I was excited about having something that would bring teachers together to help each other meet their students' educational goals – it's allowed teachers to come out of teaching in isolation. We've also used the system to let students take some responsibility for their own outcomes. When kids see how they're predicted to perform, it really changes their mindset. It's made us all accountable."
English teacher Lauren Collierninth agrees.
"I had a student who was placed in a regular class instead of honors," says Collierninth. "His past scores were average and had gone up and down over the years. He was doing well in my class, but I told him he could do better. I showed him his projections and told him what he needed to do to reach the honors level. He worked really hard and made honors. When students see everything mapped out, they realize they really are smarter – it really provided a boost for this student."
Growth and achievement
"The information we have helps us create new ways of reaching students and challenging them," says algebra teacher Amanda Garner. "People like to be challenged. A lot of our students are very competitive, and they like to see what's being said about them on paper or what's supposedly going to happen to them. When you set out goals and challenges and show them that you're there to help them, they get excited."
"SAS EVAAS also helps grow our teachers," adds Johnson. "You're not teaching if you're not growing kids. It's helping to make us better educators by understanding what a child needs, so that we can adapt our teaching styles. If teaching is your passion and you want to be a good educator, one way of achieving that is by embracing this system as a resource."
Setting goals for success
Not only has SAS EVAAS for K-12 helped students and teachers at High Point Central reach higher, it has allowed parents to get more involved with their children's education by providing a clear view of a child's educational history and predicted path.
"Knowing the prediction helps you understand what changes need to be made to a student's education plan," says Holcomb. "If we don't like the predicted result, we can design strategies and interventions to help students achieve a more positive outcome – parents love that. Parents now understand how their student's performance and growth will contribute to their future successes. SAS EVAAS makes parent-teacher conferences easier because it isn't about a principal or a teacher offering an opinion, it's about looking at the data – you can't argue with the data."
"I've used the reports from SAS EVAAS to show parents how their child is trending," says English teacher Mark Abrahamson. "The data is a starting point to let parents help set goals for their children."
"Used correctly, students will not fall through the cracks," concludes Johnson. "It will allow students and teachers to get better and grow. The data drives everything. High Point Central is living proof of that."
To improve overall proficiency scores, the high school needed an analysis and reporting system that would provide diagnostic information about past student performance and predict future success probabilities.
- Moved from the 60th to 70th percentile in overall proficiency scores.
- Equitable distribution of teachers across the district.
- Better budget and resource allocations.
- Improved collaboration among teachers.
- Improved parent engagement in children's education.