From the Principal's Office: Why I Don't Trust SAS and EVASS Data

10/28/2013 12:00:00 AM

North Carolina basically feeds its test scores into a mystery machine and out magically pops what SAS refers to as value-added scores used by the state to measure both teacher and principal effectiveness. SAS does not reveal the magical data, nor the formula it uses to determine this data because it is "proprietary." Email them about their value-added formula, and you get no response. I suppose we, as education underlings are supposed to accept on faith that they know what they are doing.

For those of you not familiar with North Carolina's teacher effectiveness and principal effectiveness model, the company SAS won the hearts of our state leaders as the primary number-cruncher for our state accountability model. (I bet their lobbyists happened to have the loudest voice). Nevertheless, SAS is the machine in which our state testing data is fed, and from forth its circuitry, value-added data spews forth, which is used as part of educator evaluations.

I can't help but remain a bit skeptical when that number-crunching happens behind closed doors. A company that has something to hide, perhaps will also hide shady practices too. That, folks, is why I remain skeptical of North Carolina's seemingly blind reliance on SAS as its king number-cruncher.

cross posted at

J. Robinson has decades of experience as a K12 Principal, Teacher, and Technology Advocate. Read more at The 21st Century Principal.

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