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krazeeboi

K-12 Education in South Carolina

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I just recently came across an article in the journal Education Next published by the Hoover Institution, which is a public policy research center of Stanford University. Essentially, it says that SC has higher academic proficiency standards than many other states, and other states have lower standards which essentially inflate their rankings.

An excerpt:

Some states have risen to the challenge and set demanding proficiency levels for their students, while others have used lower standards to inflate reported performance. Not only is the disparity confusing, but, perversely enough, the states with the highest expectations often stand accused of having the most schools said to be in need of improvement-even when their students are doing relatively well...

...if only 50 percent of a state

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With my new wife being a teacher, I have been enlightened into why our state does so poorly in national tests. First is the point that you presented in the article, krazee. Test taking procedures are followed to the tee in SC, and no classroom is given leeway in how it is administered. A monitor is in the test room (with the teacher!) to ensure that no mistakes are made or answers to the questions given away. Other states' teachers have been known to do the latter. Secondly, every single student in the entire system in SC is tested, regardless of handicap or disability. Mentally retarded students, Downs' syndrome kids, and children with other debilitating illnesses and diseases are all required to take the national tests...and this brings down the state average significantly. Other states only test "healthy" students. So now when I see articles in the news saying how we are close to last in school tests, I read it with a bit of skepticism.

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I agree that testing the mentally handicapped at the same level as their peers is a stupid thing. The state has caught a lot of flack over that, and I am supprised they have not yet changed it.

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On a related note, Morgan Quito recently released its 2005-2006 Smartest States rankings. Our fair state ranked 29th this year, up three places from last year. For comparison purposes, FL ranked 36th, GA 40th, NC 22nd, and VA 7th.

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Some good info here about the state of public education in SC. We have our problems for sure, but my God, this isn't the cesspool of ignorance we often think it is--not by a long shot.

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Indeed. That article seems very accurate to me. That shows SC as a state that is making the best strides at improving its education system.

I find it interesting that in the 'Challenges Remain' section, it is said that our schools on average are too large. Its interesting because I distinctly recall Mark Sanford proposing an idea of 'neigborhood schools' that would make a lot more smaller schools like there used to be. More people would be able to walk or bike there, and it would create an increased sense of community.

The other problem is that many of SC's newest and 'best' high schools are these large mega campuses like Dorman HS (aka 'Dorman University').

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^You're right about that. The new Lake Marion HS in Orangeburg County is among one of them. I think that school replaced two high schools.

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Indeed. That article seems very accurate to me. That shows SC as a state that is making the best strides at improving its education system.

I find it interesting that in the 'Challenges Remain' section, it is said that our schools on average are too large. Its interesting because I distinctly recall Mark Sanford proposing an idea of 'neigborhood schools' that would make a lot more smaller schools like there used to be. More people would be able to walk or bike there, and it would create an increased sense of community.

The other problem is that many of SC's newest and 'best' high schools are these large mega campuses like Dorman HS (aka 'Dorman University').

I don't like the idea of community schools. This is what we've been trying to get away from because they created hugely segregated populations. I wouldn't want to only go to school with people just from my area anyway. That means mostly one social class and one race. That's not going to prepare you for the real world. Besides for those of you in Greenville, you all know the story of Beck. I'd say that it was a blessing to get it out of Nicholtown.

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I can't say what the governor means, but I'm talking schools of maybe 1,000 or so as opposed to 4,000. I think that is the optimum size for a high school. Its large enough to have your diversity, but small enough to keep the ideal student to teacher ratio. I would argue that high school as it exists today prepares you for nothing except college.

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More good education news, guys. Education Week magazine has compiled state-specific reports covering a decade of educational progress within those states entitled "Quality Counts at 10: A Decade of Standards-Based Education." Each state is graded in four categories: standards and accountability, teacher quality, school climate, and resource equity. Our fair state scores at or above average in each category; as a matter of fact, we rank near the top of the nation in standards and accountability and in teacher quality, we rank second in the nation. Our overall state policy report card gives us a grade of "B," beating every other Southern state except West Virginia, which also received a "B" and Louisiana which received a grade of "B+." Now if THIS isn't good news, I don't know what is. What I like about this report is that it shows the progress that we as a state have made over the long term. Now this doesn't mean that we still don't have work to do, but this is some well-received news as far as I'm concerned. Now if we could do some adjusting in our higher education system, we'd be on a roll.

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That IS exellent news! Now we have to work off the sterotype.

I think that as far as higher education goes, the improvements need to be made in our lower tier schools. Our premier institutions are fine.

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I like Sanford's idea of creating a statewide Board of Regents. I think it has worked well for North Carolina, and should produce similar results here.

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It's similar to our Commission on Higher Education, but I think what Sanford has in mind is to put this in place in conjunction with a statewide university system, if I'm not mistaken. I do know that on average, higher education in SC is a little more expensive than in neighboring states, such as NC which has a statewide system.

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I don't know if this has anything to do with that or if it's the same thing, but:

I've heard a rumor that Sanford wanted to sort of consolidate USC and Clemson and another school in a way to prevent overlapping of curiculum. Not make them the same school, but to make them work together so that they don't offer the same majors.

WELL, I THINK THIS SUCKS! but like I said, I know little of its validity. Does anyone else know?

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Not heard of that. That is kinda how it is anyway, so I see no reason to do that. The only areas you overlap are in generic degrees like English or History, etc. I have no problem with that. They do need to preven overlapping in advanced degrees though. I once heard that Clemson wanted to start a law school- that would be bad.

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Not heard of that. That is kinda how it is anyway, so I see no reason to do that. The only areas you overlap are in generic degrees like English or History, etc. I have no problem with that. They do need to preven overlapping in advanced degrees though. I once heard that Clemson wanted to start a law school- that would be bad.

USC has engineering. It would be unfair to not allow Clemson to have business... Choices produce competition and better standards. And if there's only one option, then you get in OR you pay 3 times as much to go out of state... It almost happened to me with architecture. <_<

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Who else in the state offers engineering between Clemson and USC?

As far as law schools go, there's USC and Charleston School of Law.

I think the thing is that you want to avoid unnecessary academic duplication in proportion to the state's population and sustainability.

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Who else in the state offers engineering between Clemson and USC?...

My alma mater The Citadel has an excellent engineering department. It has been awarded accolades from many different publications, and it is very reputable not just in SC but throughout the Southeast. As a matter of fact, several El Cid grads helped design and build the new Cooper River Bridge.

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Something noteworthy, although not revolutionary. SC is the first state in the nation to satisfy the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Now we just have to get more of our kids to actually pass the tests, and we'll be on our way to better things.

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That will take more than just a governmental policy to correct. Parents have to do their part, and that is one of the major complaints among teachers in this state.

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Newsweek just ranked the top 1,000 public schools in the U.S. and South Carolina had two in the top 40. Number 10 in the nation was Academic Magnet in North Charleston and number 36 in the nation was Southside in Greenville. No other SC schools made the top 100. There were multiple other schools from SC in the top 1,000.

Great to see two SC schools in the top 40! Congrats! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

The link to the list:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12532678/site/newsweek/

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