Wealthy white kids furthest behind in Upstate

Great new news story in the Greenville Journal, courtesy of FITS News (link) about the “relativity” of student achievement in South Carolina.

As we have explained, the “best” schools in South Carolina make parents and politicians proud because they compare well with failing schools in the Corridor of Shame.

But in absolute terms, these “good” schools in Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Anderson, Spartanburg, and Greenville are way behind where they need to be.

That’s most obvious when you compare the kids in these schools to similar kids in other states, students whose family income, parental education, and standard of living make them an apples-to-apples comparison.

When we look at these numbers, we see kids in South Carolina are not competitive, even with our immediate neighbors in Georgia and North Carolina. In fact, SAT scores at the best South Carolina districts averaged more than 200 points behind the best districts in North Carolina.

Now Anna Mitchell of the Greenville Journal has looked even deeper, also considering the types of classes that students are taking. She wanted to know if the upper middle class students in the Upstate and other similar districts were as successful as many parents assume.

They are not. She explains:

..In other words, white students, well-to-do students, students taking calculus and students whose parents have graduate degrees all scored among the lowest in their subcategories compared to their counterparts in other states.

Mitchell’s story is well-researched and quite through; let’s hope the Journal posts it online in full!

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4 responses to “Wealthy white kids furthest behind in Upstate

  1. Very interesting. It will be interesting to actually read the rest of the article.

  2. As a new resident to SC, I am really trying my best to get information, asking question, etc. Maybe you can help. Seems everyone want to tell me what is not working without telling me what can be done to correct the problem. I have heard from a few who actually said, “nothing will change.” I’m all ears / eyes. Tell me / us. What has to change, why and to what? What can I do to make a difference? What should I be looking for to help? Who should I be calling / writing, etc. Can you blog on that a little for me / us?

  3. Mari,

    This is a great backgrounder.

    And so is this.

  4. schoolchoicenow

    Mari,
    All I can say is good luck! In the last 5 weeks I have made hundreds of phone calls to everyone from my legislators to state school board members to the Governor. Oh yeah, I called Dr. Jim’s office, gerneal legal counsel, the Governor appointee on the Education Oversight Committee, the Governor Appointee to the Innovations Committee and on and on and on.
    3 new virtual charter schools opened this year offering “choice”, meaning I stay home all day with my daughter and the state is supposed to provide the curriculum and teacher support. What we got instead was NO teacher support and LOTS of extra rules, so the net-net result is that my daughter works 9 hours a day from home doing MORE busy work than even the brick and mortar public school with even LESS teacher help, if that is even possible. Dr. Jim’s idea of school choice is apparently, if you don’t like public school in South Carolina – MOVE!
    Melissa Melvin, former Fort Mill public school parent-turned-home-schooler-turned-charter-school-now-going-insane

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