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SAS endorses STEM recommendations for boosting math and science outcomes


SAS CEO Goodnight calls for strengthened STEM learning nationwide

CARY, NC – Business analytics leader SAS has endorsed the new “Vital Signs” reports that offer state-by-state recommendations on strengthening K-12 math and science to prepare students to compete globally. SAS CEO and founder Jim Goodnight urged state leaders to resist political pressure to lower expectations.

SAS is a member of Change the Equation, the national CEO-led science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coalition, which created the reports. Goodnight encourages a sustained commitment from each governor and the mayor of the District of Columbia to improve STEM learning nationwide.

The Vital Signs reports compile critical data on the current condition of STEM learning in each state and the District of Columbia. They offer state-specific recommendations on how to boost student outcomes by concentrating on key areas such as improving results on state and national tests and targeting achievement gaps.

North Carolina’s analysis identified poor performance by fourth- and eighth-graders on national math tests. And while on par with the national average, only 57 percent of eighth-grade math and science teachers in North Carolina have majors or minors in math.

“Today’s employers are looking for workers who are proficient in science, technology, engineering and math, and they compensate well for that expertise,” Goodnight said. “Yet, the number of kids on the road to becoming STEM graduates remains well below the demand. We must address this alarming trend.”

SAS is a founder of the Triangle High Five Algebra Readiness Initiative, which helps mathematics teachers identify and engage in highly effective instructional practices as they address the disparities in mathematics achievement related to race and income. To begin with, SAS engaged with five North Carolina school districts, including Wake County, the state’s largest district.

In 2010-11, the five counties have seen nearly a 50 percent increase in the number of middle school students taking Algebra I, and nearly 90 percent of those students achieved a grade of C or better.

Each state’s Vital Signs report contains data in six key areas of STEM learning: academic expectations, state standards and tests, student performance and achievement gaps, teaching and learning, preparing for and succeeding in college, and teacher quality.

In addition to the Algebra Readiness Initiative, SAS has a lengthy tradition of supporting STEM education, including multiple philanthropic and technology efforts.

In December 2008, Jim Goodnight made SAS® Curriculum Pathways® available free to all US educators. Used in every state by more than 50,000 teachers, the Web-based resource for middle and high schools, community colleges, virtual schools and home schools provides content in the core disciplines of English, mathematics, social studies, science and Spanish.

SAS is a founding member of the North Carolina 1:1 Learning Technology Initiative, a public-private partnership that provides laptops, professional development and critical support to rural schools.

SAS also established Redesigned Schools 2.0, a project in which districts create highly successful schools that demonstrate effective, technology-enhanced teaching practices. Using data to guide and strengthen learning and teaching, as well as SAS Curriculum Pathways and one-to-one computing, the schools aim for 100 percent graduation rates, employing technology to increase engagement and transform teaching and learning.

SAS Programming for High School provides five-day training programs and all the instructional materials, assessments and teaching guides necessary to successfully teach SAS programming. This program is available to any high school in the US. All training and materials are offered free of charge. Students who take this course are well-equipped to be successful in the 21st century.

In addition, SAS is working with textbook authors and high school teachers to develop data sets, case studies and scripts to help teach statistics in an interactive fashion using JMP®, the SAS software for dynamic data visualization.

Change the Equation is already at work compiling more comprehensive data on STEM learning nationwide, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The coalition is planning to release additional Vital Signs reports to ensure that every student has the opportunity for a STEM education equal to the best in the world.

Copies of each report and more information about the work of Change the Equation can be found on its website,

About Change the Equation (CTEq)

CTEq is a nonprofit, nonpartisan CEO-led initiative to solve America’s innovation problem. We answer the call of President Obama’s Educate to Innovate Campaign by committing to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning for every child, with a particular focus on girls and students of color, who have long been underrepresented in STEM fields.

About SAS
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 50,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know® .


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