S.C. School Report Cards showing improvement, despite pandemic-related disruptions

Statewide, 20.6% of schools received an Excellent rating.
The South Carolina Department of Education and SC Education Oversight Committee have released...
The South Carolina Department of Education and SC Education Oversight Committee have released the 2022 School Report Cards.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 11:32 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTV) - The South Carolina Department of Education and SC Education Oversight Committee have released the 2022 School Report Cards.

The School Report Cards, which are based on South Carolina’s education accountability system, are required for all elementary, middle, and high schools. They receive overall ratings based on a 100-point scale.

The ratings follow terms outlined in state law: Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average, and Unsatisfactory. Schools also receive ratings on various indicators, such as graduation rate, academic achievement, and college and career readiness.

Statewide, 20.6% of schools in the state received an Excellent rating.

Elementary Schools 2019Elementary Schools 2019Middle Schools 2019Middle Schools 2022High Schools 2019High Schools 2022
Excellent124 (18.7%)145 (21.8%)67 (20.7%)71 (21.4%)59 (26.0%)40 (16.7%)
Good164 (24.7%)144 (22.1%)99 (30.7%)76 (22.9%)56 (24.7%)48 (20.0%)
Average226 (34.0%)235 (35.3%)121 (37.5%)131 (39.5%)63 (27.8%)76 (31.7%)
Below Average111 (16.7%)100 (15.0%)29 (9.0%)43 (12.9%)39 (17.2%)53 (22.1%)
Unsatisfactory39 (5.9%)42 (6.3%)7 (2.2%)11 (3.3%)10 (4.4%)19 (7.9%)
Number of Report Cards664666323332227240

“I commend the effort of South Carolina educators and students,” stated EOC Executive Director Matthew Ferguson. “These results beat all expectations of what was thought possible while living through the COVID disruptions.”

[’This is not what we wanted’: S.C. report cards show significant learning decline during pandemic]

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman noted the quick rebound of schools amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic but stressed the “real challenges” to overcome.

“Though many of the results we see are perhaps expected following the pandemic, we are no less concerned about drops in assessment results and the widening gaps for many of our students,” Spearman said. “We are encouraged by the growth we see, as we seek to continue the work of ensuring our educational system in South Carolina is preparing all students to be ready for college, careers, and citizenship.”

The report cards and school ratings are designed to provide easy-to-understand information for families and the public to increase accessibility and accountability in South Carolina public schools.

This is the first year schools received a rating for School Climate, which uses results from the Teacher and Student Climate surveys to measure the perceptions of safety, working conditions, and social-physical environment.

“We know that a positive school climate is highly correlated with increased student outcomes,” said Ferguson. “Surfacing these data in the accountability system will provide schools with the opportunity to take necessary action to make sure that climate is not a barrier to student success or teacher satisfaction.”

Future accountability systems will include the Added Value Growth. Ferguson said this will be a measure the first of its kind nationally. It will focus on rewarding growth leading to grade-level proficiency and preparedness for college and careers.

One of those strong recoveries can be seen in the numbers at Fort Mill School District.

”We’re either at pre-pandemic or near pre-pandemic levels in almost every category now,” says District spokesperson Joe Burke.

Burke says Fort Mill Schools are ranked either in the excellent or good overall rankings. He also says most of the school data is either number one at the state or right there at the top. He credits this to the learning programs the district used during the height of the pandemic.

”With the past few years school has been tough but we did put a lot of measures in place to help our students get through the challenging times of the pandemic and we’re seeing that our scores are reflecting all of that work,” says Burke.

However, there is still some struggles within the data. First grade math and ELA scores dropped more than five points each and second grade math and ELA scores dropped more than 10 over one school year.

”We also know those specific gaps need to be closed and we also need to get those students up to where the remainder of the students are at,” he says.

Burke says at this point they’re using those same tactics the district used in the pandemic years to close those gaps in this current school year.

”We’re gonna do that to give everybody the best education possible,” he says.

The report cards for our other districts, and the entire state, are available at screportcards.com and have data and information on student performance from the 2021-2022 school year.