Are area schools' grades "good enough" for you? For the past few weeks, state and federal data has been issued concerning the students' scores from this past school year.
In our Aug. 7 edition, Staff Writer Jonathan Vickery explored the Federal Report Card data that had been released for South Carolina schools. Jonathan spoke with each superintendent in the county, allowing them to give their goals for the coming year as well as state their opinion of whether the grade issued under the Federal Report Card reflected what was really happening in the schools.
The headline - "Local schools are not making the grade" - hit a nerve or two in the county.
Some teachers, principals and other school officials felt our characterization in the headline was unfair. Some didn't get much past the headline to see we dedicated nearly a full page to allowing the superintendents the chance to share how they felt their schools were really doing. We included each district's grade as well as the grade from each school. The state's expectation of its schools was a "C" or higher.
So you decide. Was it a fair characterization? Are our schools, "making the grade"? Here are the numbers.
Williston D29 earned a 85.7 which is a "B" by the state/federal standards for these report cards.
Barnwell D45 earned a 61.7 which is a "D".
Blackville D19 earned a 43.6 which is an "F".
If you look on purely a district level, only one of the three "passed." Williston did a great job of keeping their grades up overall, but what about Blackville and Barnwell?
If your child came home with three grades on their report card and two of those were a "D" and an "F", would you be satisfied? Would you not want more from your student?
Well, that is exactly what we said. Local schools did not make the grade. Even though some individual schools "passed", two of our three districts did not.
We are thrilled for Williston-Elko Middle School for being the only school with an "A" grade. We are happy for Barnwell Elementary, Barnwell Primary, Kelly Edwards, and Williston-Elko High School who all made a "C" or higher. We applaud their efforts.
But the fact remains - we still have five schools that are not passing the federal requirements.
We acknowledge these scores are not the entire essence of the schools. We also understand there must be a conversation about the grades and how much weight parents, students and faculty should put into them. But the indication is that there is a lot of work to do.
More than half of our county's public schools did not pass the Federal Report Card guidelines. Are the guidelines flawed or is this a true reflection of the status of our local public schools?
Are you satisfied with the results?
We are not.
Here's how Barnwell County's three school districts performed
under the 2013 federal report card:
Barnwell District 45 earned a 61.7 = "D"
("D" in 2012):
Barnwell Primary School - 83.9 (B)
Barnwell Elementary School - 71.2 (C)
Guinyard Butler Middle School - 36.3 (F)
Barnwell High School - 60.6 (D)
Williston District 29 earned a 85.7 (B):
("A" in 2012)
Kelly Edwards Elementary School - 74.2 (C)
Williston-Elko Middle School - 95.5 (A)
Williston-Elko High School - 86.5 (B)
Barnwell District 19 earned a 43.6 (F):
("F" in 2012)
Macedonia Elementary School - 43.4 (F)
Blackville-Hilda Junior High - 35 (F)
Blackville-Hilda High School - 36.6 (F)
Note: An "A", "B" or "C" meets expectations.
|Barnwell 45 District||Visit|
|Barnwell City Website||Visit|
|Barnwell County Arts Council||Visit|
|Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce||Visit|
|Barnwell County Government||Visit|
|Barnwell County Library||Visit|
|Barnwell County SC Virtual Museum||Visit|
|Big 7 Association||Visit|
|Blackville Municipal Website||Visit|
|Blackville-Hilda School District 19||Visit|
|CodeRed Alert System||Visit|
|Edisto Research and Education Center||Visit|
|JDA - Jefferson Davis Academy||Visit|
|Salkehatchie Arts Center||Visit|
|South Carolina National Heritage Corridor||Visit|
|The Circle Theatre||Visit|
|Thoroughbred Country – Regional Tourism Organization||Visit|
|Town of Williston||Visit|
|Williston-Elko School District 29||Visit|
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