by John Steinberger | October 14, 2018 5:02 pm
During the past three years, Charleston County School District (CCSD) students have seen a decline in scores on the annual South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Assessments (SC Ready) for math and English Language Arts (ELA). The assessments are given to students in 3rd through 8th grades.
Students are grouped into four categories based on their test scores – Does Not Meet (grade level standard), Approaches (grade level standard), Meets (grade level standard) and Exceeds (grade level standard). At every grade level, CCSD had an increasing percentage of student who failed to meet grade level standards in both math and ELA. The decline generally applied to all demographic sub-groups.
In 3rd grade ELA, for example, the percentage of students performing below Meets Grade Level Standard increased from 49.4% in 2016 to 52.1% in 2018. The decline was even more pronounced for 8th grade ELA performance. In 2016, 48.7% of CCSD 8th graders tested below Meets Grade Level Standard in ELA. The number climbed to 55.4% in 2018. Close to 60% of CCSD 8th grade students failed to achieve the grade level standard in math in 2018. These figures include magnet and partial magnet schools in CCSD. One of the drawbacks with SC Ready testing is that the tests are written by state education officials, so the scores don’t compare our student achievement to their peers from throughout the country.
Analysis of the SC Ready scores shows both a decline in performance and an unacceptable number of CCSD students who fail to meet the state grade level standards for math and ELA. There are four (of nine) seats for the Charleston County School Board on the November 6 ballot. Candidates will need to present a strategy to improve student performance and work with the other five board members to turn things around.
Charts with SC Ready Scores:
CCSD 3 year Comparison by Grade
CCSD SC Ready Compared
CCSD SC Ready Demo 
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