S.C. School Report Cards are in! How did local schools do?
The end of November brought the annual release of the South Carolina Department of Education School Report Cards, which are used to measure the performance of schools and districts in academic achievement, student progress, and school quality, among other categories.
And, while several schools in the Berkeley County School District were awarded “excellent” rankings, the BCSD stated that they found the report cards to be insufficient.
“I appreciate the work being done in our schools and am happy to see high scores in many categories at several of our schools,” said Superintendent Eddie Ingram in a statement on the BCSD website. “However, this is not the best way to measure what our schools are accomplishing.”
The School Report Cards implemented a new grading system this year that incorporates elements of 2015’s Every Student Succeeds Act. The new method attempts to measure more factors, like college preparedness and student engagement.
The change is based on a grading curve, stated BCSD, which they claim predetermines 10 percent of South Carolina schools to fail. Ryan Brown of the South Carolina Department of Education confirmed this statement, but said that his organization worked alongside the Education Oversight Committee to determine these statistics.
“It was based off of 2015 NAEP [National Assessment of Education Progress] Assessment,” he said. “Fifteen percent would be rated as excellent, 20 percent as good, 35 percent as average, 35 percent below average, and 10 percent unsatisfactory.”
These target percentages are recommended to stay in place for at least five years to allow schools to improve within a consistent system.
“We want the system to be reflective of all of South Carolina, and we do have an opportunity to make adjustments to it, so it’s quite possible that his concerns and others’ concerns will go into continuing to make this plan and this report card system better over time,” said Brown.
The Education Oversight Committee did not respond to a request for comment prior to going to print with this issue.
Between Dorchester School District Two, Charleston County School District, and Berkeley County School District, BCSD was predominately in second and third place in every category, but was occasionally comparable with the other two districts.
“Our Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Kevin O’Gorman, is currently leading an initiative to develop a Lowcountry Report Card with leaders from Charleston, DD2 [Dorchester District 2] and DD4 [Dorchester District 4],” said BCSD Public Information Officer Katie Orvin.
Below are five schools serving students from the Daniel Island and Cainhoy areas and highlights from their report cards. Philip Simmons High School was not ranked because they have only been in existence for two years and the data requires four to five years, said Orvin.
DANIEL ISLAND SCHOOL
Overall Rating: 66 (Excellent)
Strengths: Preparing for Success
Daniel Island School earned an excellent rating by outshining the state and the school district in every academic category. Just over 76 percent of DIS students met or exceeded expectations in language arts, while 81 percent met or exceeded expectations in math. Those numbers for the district were 45 percent in language arts and 43.8 percent in math.
Despite the great marks, DIS was given an “unsatisfactory” rating in school quality. This was determined by a survey given to students, parents, and teachers. Interestingly, the vast majority of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the learning environment.
The Daniel Island News reached out to Principal Kori Brown for comment, but did not receive a response by press time.
PHILIP SIMMONS ELEMENTARY
Overall Rating: 64 (Excellent)
Strength: Preparing for Success
Philip Simmons Elementary was very well rounded, receiving “good” and “excellent” scores on every category they were ranked in. Similarly to DIS, PSE outperformed the district and the state in academics. The elementary school was also ranked “good” in the student progress and school quality categories.
Just over 86 percent of kindergarteners showed readiness for education and 75.40 percent met or exceeded expectation for science and social studies.
“I am very proud of our Report Card results,” said PSE Principal Melissa Negreiros. “Our Excellent rating reflects the hard work of our students and teachers. With the continued support of our families and community, we will continue to refine our instructional program and make gains. We expect significant growth in our school population over the next few years. We will focus on cultivating our innovative teaching and learning practices in order to maintain and increase our progress through this time of rapid growth.”
PHILIP SIMMONS MIDDLE
Overall Rating: 48 (Good)
Strength: School Quality
In every academic category, PSM was rated as “average.” In English language arts, the Report Card found that the middle school performed slightly above the school district, while mathematics were almost six percent below the district’s score.
The Berkeley County School District was also approximately 10 percent ahead of Philip Simmons Middle in science and social studies.
In the highlight of the school’s ratings, a “good” was awarded to the institute for school quality. Just over 62 percent of students scored “committed” on the student engagement survey.
Principal Charla Groves said that she was pleased with the overall score received, but added that the academic achievement rating is based upon one day of testing and acts as more of a snapshot of students, than a comprehensive assessment.
“In Berkeley County School District, we utilize more than one measure to determine if students master content and perform on grade level,” she said. “Currently, students take the Reading Inventory (RI) and Math Inventory (MI) four times throughout the school year. The data from these assessments allows us to measure student growth and achievement and address academic struggles as they arise. With that said, I appreciate state test scores as one data point in analysis of student academic achievement.”
CAINHOY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Overall Rating: 43 (average)
Strength: School Quality
In the harshest rating received among local schools, Cainhoy Elementary scored below average for academic achievement, “unsatisfactory” in preparing for success, “average” for student progress, and “good” in school quality. Only 18.1 percent of students met or exceeded expectations in English language arts, while that same statistic was at 29.2 percent for mathematics.
Additionally, Cainhoy Elementary trailed the district, meeting approximately half of their readiness statistic for social studies and science. About 71 percent of students scored “committed” on the student engagement survey, netting the school a rating of “good” in school quality.
“Although we received an average rating, our goal is to improve our rating next year to excellent,” said Principal LaWanda Glears. “Based on the data, we understand that in order for this to occur, we must have parental support, professional development, and district support.”
Glears also stated that, as the new principal of CES, she and her team will focus on academic achievement the most in the coming year.
HANAHAN HIGH SCHOOL
Overall Rating: 61 (Good)
Strength: College and Career Readiness
Hanahan High was rated average and good in all of their academic categories. Just over 49 percent of students had test scores that showed they were college ready, 69.7 percent showed that they were career ready, and 45.4 proved to be both college and career ready.
The high school also had a slightly higher graduation rate than the Berkeley County School District, coming in at 86.6 percent of students graduating on time compared to BCSD’s 83.3 percent.
“The teachers, staff and administration are constantly looking for ways to put our students in the best position to have the ability to be successful once they leave Hanahan High School,” said Principal Tom Gallus.
To see the results of every school in South Carolina and the comparison between the Tri-County school districts in more detail, follow the links below.
REPORT CARD: https://www.screportcards.com/
DISTRICT COMPARISON: https://www.screportcards.com/overview/?q=eT0yMDE4JmQ9MDgwMSwxMDAxLDE4MD...