Innovating SC Education Policy: Why the Need for Change?

June 7, 2013


Compelling statistics below that reinforce why education transformation is so vital to the economic future of our Palmetto State:

Reading is not taught beyond 3rd grade, yet 38% of our state’s 4th graders are functionally illiterate and 72% read below grade level. (NAEP 2011)

In Charleston County, nearly 20% of 9th graders read at a 4th-grade level or worse. (Charleston Post & Courier, May 18, 2010)

Some 28% of South Carolina’s students fail to complete high school within four years, most of whom are dropouts. (SCDE Graduation Report, June 2011)

According to ACT’s benchmarks, SC students who took the test, only 19% were deemed “college ready.” (ACT Profile Report, Class of 2011)

Nearly 50% of SC students who enroll as freshman at a four-year college fail to graduate within six years. (SC Commission for Higher Education, 2011)

While South has a 9.5% unemployment rate, there are extensive shortages of skilled workers for high technology manufacturing. (SC Department of Employment and Workforce; The State, Jan. 25, 2012)

Most high school exit exams measure proficiency at the 8th to 10th grade levels. They are set this low to minimize the number of dropouts. (“Beyond the Rhetoric,” SREB, June 2010)

The U.S. has fallen from 1st in the world in high school graduation rate to 18th of 24 industrialized nations. (“Benchmarking for Success,” National Governors’ Assoc., 2008)

Between 2007 and 2009, teacher job satisfaction fell by 15 points to 44%, the lowest level since 1986. Additionally, 29% said they are likely to leave teaching for another profession. (The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, 2011)