I am Oran Smith, and I come to you this afternoon in two capacities. I am President & CEO of Palmetto Family, a faith-based, public policy research organization founded in Spartanburg and based here in Columbia since 1994. I am also glad to be part of Palmetto Policy Forum, a new type of policy organization dedicated to expanding opportunity by building consensus around common sense solutions.
Today, at its 2nd Annual VisionSC Summit, Palmetto Policy Forum released the latest version of Empower Opportunity: Education Options for South Carolina Families. Featuring a foreword from U.S. Senator Tim Scott on the power of education choice, this groundbreaking publication is designed to equip South Carolina families with information about education options currently available to Palmetto State students. It also highlights policy success stories in states where they have created even more choice and flexibility than currently exists here.
Finding the best education fit for your child can be a daunting task. In this catalog, you’ll read the stories of families just like yours who share their journey to find the perfect place for their child. You’ll also find links to resources to learn more about each option. Please take a minute to share this information with families you know. Knowledge is power, and working together, we can Empower Opportunity for students in every corner of the Palmetto State. And please take a minute to visit our dedicated Empower Opportunity website at www.mysceducation.org.
Thank you for the invitation to submit feedback on South Carolina’s proposed Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) standards. Our goal in submitting this review is to contribute a thoughtful perspective to a constructive dialogue that results in rigorous, state‐controlled standards that will create an environment of excellence for our students and clear guidance and support for our teachers.
The ability to read is a primary gateway to success in school and life-long learning. A child who does not master this fundamental skill faces daunting odds. Consider these sobering statistics from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: · Children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high school. · Below basic readers are almost 6 times more likely than proficient readers to not finish high school on time. · Poor, Black, and Hispanic students who are struggling readers are about 8 times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.
We have much to do to create the opportunity of a high-quality, customized education for every South Carolina student. In this handy publication we take a look at 10 ideas that would give us a strong start.
We have known for some time that Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have left voters, legislators, parents, and teachers frustrated and confused. Now we are learn that the Standards have caused a controversy amongst another group: pollsters. In a recent clash of surveys, the Gallup poll shows 60% of Americans oppose Common Core while an Education Next survey shows support for the standards in the 53% to 68% range. Why the big difference? Not surprisingly, it is the questions themselves.
Imagine trying to navigate the challenging waters of fourth, fifth and sixth grade science, social studies, and English unable to read. Unfortunately, this is the case for too many Palmetto State children, who are “socially promoted” based on seat time alone rather than proficiency. So how do we help ensure students have this fundamental tool
50 years of growing federal involvement in education has not led to better outcomes for students. A recent Daily Signal article lays out the disturbing trend: “According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress long-term-trend assessment, 17-year-old students today perform no better in reading and math than 17-year-olds did in the 1970s. According to the main NAEP assessment, often referred to as the nation’s “report card,” only 26 percent of 12th graders are proficient in math; just 38 percent of high school seniors are proficient in reading.”
The ability to read is a primary gateway to success in school and life-long learning. A child who does not master this fundamental skill faces daunting odds. Consider these sobering statistics from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: Children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high school. Below basic readers are almost 6 times more likely than proficient readers to not finish high school on time. Poor, Black, and Hispanic students who are struggling readers are about 8 times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.