The SAS Education Value-Added Assessment System (SAS® EVAAS®) in the Houston Independent School District (HISD): Intended and Unintended Consequences


  • Audrey Amrein-Beardsley Arizona State University
  • Clarin Collins Arizona State University



value-added models (VAMs), validity, reliability, high-stakes testing, teacher effectiveness, teacher evaluation, educational Policy, accountability


The SAS Educational Value-Added Assessment System (SAS® EVAAS®) is the most widely used value-added system in the country. It is also self-proclaimed as “the most robust and reliable” system available, with its greatest benefit to help educators improve their teaching practices. This study critically examined the effects of SAS® EVAAS® as experienced by teachers, in one of the largest, high-needs urban school districts in the nation – the Houston Independent School District (HISD). Using a multiple methods approach, this study critically analyzed retrospective quantitative and qualitative data to better comprehend and understand the evidence collected from four teachers whose contracts were not renewed in the summer of 2011, in part given their low SAS® EVAAS® scores. This study also suggests some intended and unintended effects that seem to be occurring as a result of SAS® EVAAS® implementation in HISD. In addition to issues with reliability, bias, teacher attribution, and validity, high-stakes use of SAS® EVAAS® in this district seems to be exacerbating unintended effects.


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Author Biographies

Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Arizona State University

Dr. Amrein-Beardsley is currently an Associate Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Audrey's research interests include educational policy, research methods, and more specifically, high-stakes tests and value-added measurements and systems. In addition, she researches aspects of teacher quality and teacher education. She is also the creator and host of a show titled Inside the Academy during which she interviews some of the top educational researchers in the academy. For more information please see:


Clarin Collins, Arizona State University

Clarin Collins is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Arizona State University. Her research interests include national and local policy implementation at the classroom level, teacher influences on policy making and implementation, and education evaluation and accountability systems. Her dissertation study analyzes teachers’ understanding of and experiences with the Educational Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) in a large, urban, high-needs school district using the EVAAS to evaluate teachers with high-stakes consequences.




How to Cite

Amrein-Beardsley, A., & Collins, C. (2012). The SAS Education Value-Added Assessment System (SAS® EVAAS®) in the Houston Independent School District (HISD): Intended and Unintended Consequences. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 20, 12.




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