The Wake County school system is touting how things have improved in the district since use of the SAS EVAAS program has increased this school year.
In a school district press release earlier this week, principals say EVAAS is helping them to better educate students and assess teacher effectiveness. Prior to the 2009 school board elections in which the new board members urged the use of EVAAS, the program got a much cooler reception in Wake.
“It’s a wonderful tool,” said East Wake Middle School Principal Nancy Allen in the press release. “With just a click of a mouse and I can find out all kinds of information about my school. That’s how I’ve got to make the decisions about where to take my school.”
Principals are talking about how they're using EVAAS to put students in more rigorous math classes in middle school. This harkens back to the SAS report in 2009 when, pre-EVAAS, a majority of qualified black and Hispanic students weren't being placed in Algebra I in eighth-grade.
We're still waiting for the final reconciliation of numbers showing how much of a gain there's been in Algebra I and pre-Algebra I placement rates in middle school using EVAAS in the new selection criteria.
The press release talks about how EVAAS is helping students be better prepared for honors and Advanced Placement courses in high school.
“It’s really made the students feel good about themselves,” said Allen. “When I tell them ‘You all have the expectation that you are going to college.’ that means a lot to them. It has really created a different environment here.”
The press release also mentions how EVAAS is being used to measure teacher effectiveness.
“It’s an easy way to see how a teacher’s group of students scored,” said Anthony Muttillo, principal of West Millbrook Middle School. “Did these scores reflect growth or not? Its helps them see that picture."
EVAAS has been Wake's primary data tool since the school board voted 5-4 in November to kill the Effectiveness Index.