Where are the School Report Cards?

Who’s watching the watchman?

The Education Oversight Committee (EOC) is the self-described “watchdog” of public school schools in South Carolina.

One of the EOC’s most important roles is the release and distribution of school and district report cards.

These cards are designed to tell parents how the public school their child attends compares to other school in the state. In addition to test scores such as the exit exam and the PACT, the cards also provide self-reported information about the school or district’s drop-out rate and achievement gap.

As the Charleston Post and Courier explained in mid-November, the report cards have been delayed.

More than 1.6 million report cards on the progress of South Carolina schools and districts won’t be going home with students today because of a major goof by a testing company.

Pearson, which has a state contract to score end-of-course exams, made a mistake in compiling students’ scores. That means a chunk of the already-printed report cards could be wrong, and state leaders don’t expect to publish accurate ratings until the end of January.

…State law requires report card ratings to be released by Nov. 15, but the law doesn’t specify a penalty for failing to do that.

Now, ten days later, there are still no school or district report cards on the EOC website.

With or without the 2008 report cards, the facts are both sad and clear:

  • 82 percent of SC Public Schools failed to met federal performance goals this year.
  • Less than 10 percent of SC school districts have SAT scores at or above the US average.
  • Wealthy children attending South Carolina’s “best” public schools are further behind their out-of-state peers than any other group of students.
  • And despite the national trend of improvement, black/white gaps between student achievement in South Carolina continue to grow.

While parents certainly ought to receive their school and district reports cards well before the November 15th deadline, the unwillingness of school bureaucrats in South Carolina to support school choice means most parents will be unable to use the information in the report cards to select a better school for their children.


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