Fewer than 40% of SC students meet expectations in state math testing

Seal of the Department of Education of South Carolina
Seal of the Department of Education of South Carolina(South Carolina Department of Education)
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 1:04 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Roughly 47% of students from 3rd to 8th grade are meeting state standards in science according to the South Carolina Department of Education. Only about 39% are meeting or exceeding standards in math.

The South Carolina Department of Education announced Tuesday the results of the 2021-2022 school year in the South Carolina Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (SCPASS) in Science. The department also released the results of the South Carolina College and Career Ready Assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics in the elementary and middle school grade levels (SC READY).

Science scores are reported as:

  • Does Not Meet Expectations
  • Approaches Expectations
  • Meets Expectations
  • Exceeds Expectations

SCPASS tested 347,962 students last year. The 47% that are meeting standards is an increase from 42% in 2020 and 45% in 2019. The SCPASS Science assessment was statewide for students in grades four, six, and eight, and the Social Studies assessment was administered to students in grades five and seven.

The scores in math align with a nationwide trend of a decline during the pandemic. Last year’s 39% scores of South Carolina students meeting or exceeding expectations is an increase from 2020 which saw 37% of students achieve the score. However, this is a decrease from the 45% reported during the 2018-2019 school year.

Today’s results confirm the impacts and disruptions caused by the pandemic and the fact that we must continue to support students and educators as we recover,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

Spearman continued,

“We are alarmed and very concerned about the regression we see in areas like math, while encouraged by what we see in ELA. Much more will need to be done to reach our high standards and goals for the students of South Carolina, and it will take the combined efforts of educators, parents, and other stakeholders as we move forward.”

The department reported several initiatives at state and local levels are in effect to try and help with the learning loss during the pandemic. These include Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) a professional learning program, free online tutoring for students, and a digital library for teachers.

Spearman said,

“We are not painting a rosy picture and will look to implement meaningful actions, knowing that we have work to do in areas like math and bridging achievement gaps. However, we also want to pause to thank our educators for the growth we already see and work that we know they will do to address the challenges we have ahead.”

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