State report card shows improvement, but many districts still need help


state releases school report cards

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- The recently released South Carolina School Report Card shows several districts across the state have seen significant improvements; however, there are still areas that need to be addressed.

The 2018-2019 state report card shows some measures in place are helping improve education across the state.

“We did have an increase in excellence in terms of academic achievement, our SAT scores were higher, our high school graduation rates increased as well,” said Jennifer Wise, the former State Teacher of the Year.

SC ready test scores for lower grades also increased.

But the state still has a number of counties with schools identified as having either a graduation rate of less than 70% or students falling in the 5th percentile.

According to the report card, 36 counties are listed between the two categories.

Sherry East with the South Carolina Education Association worries the report card separates schools without presenting a solution.

“What do you do if a school is chronically undeperforming? What do you need to go in and do? One of these reports said we have students who aren’t college or career ready and does one test telling you that?”

Educators and officials say the biggest discrepancy between schools rated “excellent” and “unsatisfactory” is access to resources.

East continued, “Some of your districts the Allendales, Williamsburg, that have been on the verge of taken over. So it doesn’t matter if you want to do that, it’s what’s available to do that. A lot of this is around the poverty index and what resources are available for support.”

The state’s graduation rate did slightly increase but it is still a 3% decrease from 2017.

The state is currently working on a comprehensive education reform bill, which includes suggestions on how to hold schools accountable and what tests scores should be included when determining a school or district’s success.

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