The House approved a bill Tuesday that requires the state's schools to use a software tool to help diagnose students' progress.
The state has already made the system, called the Education Value Added Assessment System or EVAAS, available to schools. The bill now requires districts to use it or an equivalent program. The state and not local districts will pay for the software, which is owned by SAS. The House budget included $1 million for expanding the system.
Supporters say the system works and has shown improvements in student performance. Schools are already required to incorporate data and diagnostic systems in their improvement plans.
State Rep. Bryan Holloway, a King Republican and a former teacher, said he objected to forcing school systems to use the software.
"Now we as a state legislature are going to tell our superintendents, many of them have PhDs, our principals who have master's degrees, how they have to implement their school improvement plans?" he asked. "Someone has got to type that data in. Someone has to enter that data. I imagine it's going to be passed off to the teachers. They're not going to be thrilled to find out they have another duty added to their vast plate."
The bill passed the House 94 to 19 and now goes to the Senate.
UPDATE: SAS says the software does not require any extra work for teachers.
SAS applies its analysis to standardized test scores supplied by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, said spokesman Trent Smith.