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State report cards released

Posted: December 3, 2018 5:14 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Fourteen Kershaw County School District (KCSD) schools are said to be meeting or exceeding the criteria to ensure all students meet the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate in report card ratings released Thursday by the S.C. Department of Education as part of the state’s new merged state and federal accountability system.

Beginning with the 2018 state report cards, every South Carolina public school receives an overall performance rating that ranges from “Excellent” to “Unsatisfactory.” According to a KCSD press release, state officials caution against making comparisons to past report card ratings because the measurements have changed.

The release of report card ratings was delayed from earlier this month due to errors discovered in school quality data.

“The report cards are one source of information,” KCSD Superintendent Shane Robbins said. “We will continue to focus on improving student achievement for every child and not just on ratings from a system with flaws that includes data from several years ago.”

Robbins explained that the school district uses NWEA MAP test data, which is given three times through the school year, to monitor a student’s academic progress.

“MAP allows our teachers the opportunity to individualize instruction based on each child’s needs and current information,” he said.

Schools’ overall report card ratings are based on students’ performance on the 2015 Nation’s Report Card, which was administered to students in every state. The state’s Education Oversight Committee (EOC) determined that only a certain percentage of schools could receive each rating so that the top 15 percent are “Excellent,” the next 20 percent “Good,” the following 35 percent “Average,” the next 20 percent “Below Average” and the bottom 10 percent always are labeled “Unsatisfactory.”

The EOC has recommended that these target percentages stay in place for at least five years.

All school report card ratings are based on academic achievement, preparation for success, English learners’ proficiency and school quality. High schools also are rated on graduation rate and college and career readiness. Elementary and middle schools’ ratings also include student progress.

Schools rated as “Good” are said to exceed the criteria to ensure all students meet the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. “Average” schools meet the criteria, “Below Average” schools are in jeopardy of not meeting the criteria and “Unsatisfactory” schools fail to meet the criteria.

Kershaw County district schools rated as “Good” are Camden High, Lugoff-Elgin High, Lugoff-Elgin Middle, Mt. Pisgah Elementary and North Central Middle schools. Baron DeKalb Elementary, Bethune Elementary, Blaney Elementary, Camden Middle, Doby’s Mill Elementary, Lugoff Elementary, Midway Elementary, North Central High and Pine Tree Hill Elementary schools are rated “Average.” Schools with “Below Average” ratings are Camden Elementary, Jackson and Stover Middle. Wateree Elementary received an “Unsatisfactory” rating.

In addition to the information used in the ratings, the state report cards include data on classroom environment, student safety and financial information. The report cards can be viewed at screportcards.com.

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