SC Public High Schools: 158 Dropouts Each Day

failure cat.jpg

Failure: Sometimes its hard to admit.

In early June, the education policy experts at Education Week released the 2008 edition of their annual Diplomas Count survey of high school graduation rates.

Using a single nationally recognized formula, the authors calculated the on-time graduation rate for public high schools in all fifty states. Among the highlights:

Public high schools in South Carolina graduate only 55.6 percent of their students

South Carolina is 15 percent behind the national graduation average

South Carolina is 32.7 percent behind its Federally defined graduation performance goal

South Carolina misreported its graduation rate by 21.5 percent (falsely claiming it was 77.1%)

Perhaps the most jarring observation in the report was that a 44.4 percent dropout rate translates into 28,478 nongraduates from the class of 2008, or “158 students lost each school day” during the last four years.

There is simply no excuse for public schools that spend $11,480 per student but fail to graduate half their students. South Carolina’s public schools remain the nation’s shame.

Still, some parents and lawmakers will blindly insist that their schools are exceptional. But even in districts described as “excellent” by the State, the on-time graduation rate hoovers at or below the fifty state US average. According to Education Week, just a single school district in all of South Carolina has a rate above 79 percent.

Every child in South Carolina deserves access to a quality education. This means on-time completion of high school and a diploma that represents real academic excellence and useful job skills. The public school system in South Carolina has once again demonstrated its inability to provide this to South Carolina’s children.


28 responses to “SC Public High Schools: 158 Dropouts Each Day

  1. As Mrs. Tannebaum didn’t do anything to help S.C. Schools, I voted with a hope that Jim Rex would. Sorry, same set up!
    IF we cannot elect a State Superintendant with the moral courage to allow parents the opportunity to use their tax money for education and force them to remain in unproductive schools, then let’s do away with the office, forget it and turn it over to the counties and let them vote and decide.
    However, we all know what this is about don’t we? Federal funds will be denied and all of our schools will close and the liberal agenda taught in our schools will not be promoted.
    IF true Southern History were taught in our Schools along with the Constitution, the kids when they grow up will be educated enough not to be pressured by the destroyers of freedom. they will tell them to take a hike and throw them out of South Caolina.
    But now, we don’t want that do we?

  2. Jim Rex never made any offers of supporting anything but the status quo when he ran. We DID have a choice, a woman who supported choices of public, private, parochial schools and homeschooling.
    Voters in SC are easily misled into believing SC schools are not as bad as in other states. Wrong!
    Too many pastors mistakenly believe that lie and will not get behind real school choice.

    Do our state legislators and C of C want to attract new industry? They need to get serious about the state’s poor record in education going back decades. The more money taxpayers put into the system the worse it gets. The problem is we need CHOICE.

  3. Richard Lahan

    I taught 8th grade for a short time in SC public schools and in that time I saw several reasons why public education is in such a dismal state in South Carolina. Below are a few of the reasons that I got out of public education in SC.
    1. Some administrators are more concened about keeping their jobs than doing their jobs.
    2. A “blame the teacher first” attitude among many parents about why their child is not doing well in school.
    3. “Teaching to the test” makes meaningful classroom discussions and exploration of subjects of interest to students beside the point. If it’s not on the PACT, forget about it.
    4. Disruptive students spoiling the learning experience for attentive students and the teaching experience for teachers.
    5. A lack of student accountability for THEIR actions. If a student lacks the maturity and self control to behave in class, nobody else can make them behave.
    As for the politics of public education in SC, I truly believe that school choice is the only way to guarantee that those students and parents who want to opt out of a failing system may do so. I do not see the quality of public education improving in the future, only worsening.

  4. Neutal Observer

    The whores at the State newspaper and the bottom-feeding “consultants” that serve the education establishment will say posting this story is just bashing the wonder public schools. But it is tough love. The public schools will never improve until they are forced to improve and the only way to do that is the pwoer of market competition. Hell, the politicians can’t even run a restaurant — the U.S. Seante just voted to privatize the Senate restaurants after decades of waste and poor service. So, if these hacks can’t do what 20 year olds do everyday, how can we expect them — or their second rate under-studies on the state level — to be able to fix the disaster that is South Carolina public education. The answer is we can’t. Trust parents and the People for a change.

  5. I teach at a small Christian school in Columbia, SC. SCISA recognizes 8th graders who score in the top 10% in Language Arts or Math and Science on the Stanford Achievement Test. In contrast to the results found in this post and others like it, the ENTIRE eighth grade class at our school received this recognition. And just a reminder, the SAT is a nation wide comparison, unlike the PACT. Additionally, our per student tuition costs are less than half of what the state spends per student. Why is it that the legislature continues to throw more and more money into a failing system instead of using that money to explore other educational options? Clearly the public schools are not the educational savior Rex and others make it out to be. (Any one see the program on public education aired on the SC channel…on primary day!) If the bureaucrats really cared about the children of this state, they would allow parents to choose the best education for their child instead of lining their own pockets by trapping them in public school. What parent wouldn’t want their child to be part of a class where every student scored in the top 10% nationally, and where the graduation rate is 100%?

  6. Have you ever met anyone who didn’t say ” I know there are some schools that are bad, but my kid’s school is really great?”

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