According to the latest grades, South Carolina schools offer up a tapestry of increased achievement tempered by continued long term struggles.
The state Department of Education and the Education Oversight Committee released last year’s school report cards Thursday. The results were mixed, with achievement going up at a majority of schools, but the graduation rate declining.
Concerned about the numbers showing that 25 percent of students don’t graduate on time, State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais said the trend was disturbing and must stop.
Anderson says “clearly we have not solved the problems in those districts and have to question everything we are doing there.” Anderson points out that the results include many success stories that show that high achievement can be attained in schools with high poverty rates.
Anderson says the school districts that achieved an excellent rating have similar characteristics, with one exception.
Anderson points out that one dynamic effect on schools is the increasing number of Hispanic students entering the education system. Anderson says there are schools in the state that have developed successful programs to get limited English-proficiency students performing on grade level.
Anderson says, while scores in language arts and math showed increases, many schools showed fluctuations in scores and graduation rates over the last two years.