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Education innovator Mississippi using SAS to report on pandemic learning setback and recovery

Public dashboards also show how districts are using federal funds


The State of Mississippi has been widely lauded for its transformative education efforts, which many have dubbed the “Mississippi Miracle.” Those efforts include a new tool, created by analytics leader SAS, that shows the pandemic’s effects on student achievement and progress, and how school districts are allocating federal funds to support student learning.

“This new dashboard provides a great opportunity for the public to access and analyze education data and better understand the work being done to continue improving Mississippi’s education system,” said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves.

The online, interactive dashboard is the product of a joint effort between the Mississippi Department of Education, the Mississippi State University Research & Curriculum Unit and SAS, and offers insights into how different student groups fared during the pandemic. The analysis isolates the impact of the pandemic on student groups and provides results to educators and school leaders to help guide recovery.

The dashboard also enables users to see how each school district is investing federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. These pandemic-relief funds are intended to help students accelerate learning and can be used to improve school facilities.

Partnering with an education innovator

The State of Mississippi is a national education success story. Its students have seen the largest gains in the nation in fourth grade reading and fourth grade math, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (the Nation’s Report Card). Recently, the National Institute for Early Education Research recognized Mississippi as one of the top five states for high-quality pre-K, and Mississippi’s high school graduation rate is currently at an all-time high and above the national average.

The state is also embracing data as a strategic asset to help students and teachers, and to track how federal funds are being used to drive learning recovery.

“It’s been an honor to work alongside an innovator like Mississippi,” said Dr. Melody Schopp, former South Dakota Secretary of Education and current Director of Education Industry Consulting at SAS. “Forward-thinking states are not just using data to recover from the pandemic but to come out of it stronger than before. Mississippi is on that path.”

Learn more about Mississippi’s Learning Setback and Recovery Analysis here:

Mississippi joins many other states teaming with SAS to measure COVID-19 learning loss using statistical approaches proven over decades. In these approaches, students are compared to themselves. The analyses predict how students would have scored on assessments absent the pandemic. By comparing their results to the expected scores and assessing how students performed versus how they were expected to perform, one can aggregate results at the school, district and student group levels.

The Mississippi dashboards are built on SAS® Viya®, the company’s cloud-based AI, machine learning, analytics and data management platform. For more information on how SAS works to combat learning loss and drive recovery, visit SAS’ learning loss page at

About SAS

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