Over a quarter of South Carolina’s high school students are not graduating on time, which state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais says is unacceptable.
Data released Thursday by the state Department of Education shows 72 percent of high school students are graduating on time, which is a decline from the state’s high of 78 percent reported in 2003. Zais says the rate indicates that there is a systemic problem within the entire K-12 education experience. He believes an extensive examination of the current system is warranted.
The high school graduation rate in South Carolina has experienced a decline for the sixth time in the last nine years.
Zais says as students reach each grade level it is of great importance that they master certain basic skills and concepts.
Zais says today’s society must come to the realization that the concept of a “one size fits all” education experience is woefully obsolete. Instead, he argues various educational choices must become the norm in order to properly prepare youth to become productive citizens.
Zais points out that one-third of male students and a similar rate of African Americans are not graduating from on time.
Zais says the downward trend should not only concern educators, but every citizen of the state. He says everyone must be a part of developing innovative ways to enhance the learning experience for students.
Zais says the bottom line for educators, students, parents, and taxpayers is to understand that in order to improve the long term prospects for economic growth and job creation in the state, more students must graduate from high school.