South Carolina families already worried by the discouraging results of the late 2008 School Report Cards may be even more troubled by the results of a recent study on the worst public schools in the U.S. According to this study, South Carolina public schools account for almost half of the nation’s “25 Worst Schools.” Increasingly worse reports about South Carolina’s public education system have been glossed over by indignant education bureaucrats who urge parents to “stay the course,” and stay focused on the state’s “high standards.”
While education officials frantically try to pass the blame, graduation rates have plummeted to horrific levels, SAT and ACT scores remain uncompetitive, and achievement gaps between black and white students have grown.
This latest addition to the long list of reports on South Carolina’s failure to provide a quality education for all students should be a warning to lawmakers and educators alike. While some schools in South Carolina are providing a high-quality education, many more fall far short of that, and hundreds of thousands of students are forced to attend them with little hope of anything better.
Through school choice (specifically Student Scholarship Organizations), low income and minority students can have expanded access to schools with the same level of quality instruction available to students in high performing school districts. Waiting years and years for things to change in failing schools is not a legitimate option for children who need access to a quality school now. State lawmakers must decide: are the futures of thousands of children worth them making the effort to pass school choice legislation? The children would say “yes.”
“25 Worst Public Schools in the U.S.”
1. Tomorrows Builders Charter School: East St. Louis, Ill.
2. Kennedy/Lloyd Charter School: Aiken, S.C.
3. School of Humanities: Milwaukee, Wis.
4. HR Acad/Global Awareness HA: Milwaukee, Wis.
5. Youthbuild Charleston Center: North Charleston, S.C.
6. Robeson High School: Chicago, Ill.
7. Spring Creek Elementary: St. Francis, S.D.
8. Morningside Middle School: North Charleston, S.C.
9. Brentwood Middle School: North Charleston, S.C.
10. Midlands Math and Business Academy: Columbia, S.C.
11. Circle of Courage Learning Center: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
12. Charleston Development Academy: Charleston, S.C.
13. Choices School: Florence, S.C.
14. Alcorn Middle School: Columbia, S.C.
15. Vechig Himdag Mashchamakud: Sacaton, Ariz.
16. Dorman High Freshman Campus: Roebuck, S.C.
17. Lakeview Middle School: Greenville, S.C.
18. Harper High School: Chicago, Ill.
19. Bus. Entrepreneurship, Science, Tech. Academy: Highland Park, Mich.
20. Welcome Center @ Mifflin M.S.: Columbus, Ohio
21. Englewood Technical Prep Academic HS: Chicago, Ill.
22. W.A. Perry Middle School: Columbia, S.C.
23. Hope CS: Philadelphia, Pa.
24. Fenger Academy High School: Chicago, Ill.
25. Milwaukee Spectrum School: Milwaukee, Wis.
On the larger list of ” 100 Worst Public Schools in the US,” South Carolina schools fill an astounding 38 slots. The list of all South Carolina public schools on the “100 Worst” list is below.
R D SCHRODER MIDDLE SCHOOL Adams Run, SC
BRITTON’S NECK ELEMENTARY Gresham, SC
MOUNT PLEASANT HIGH SCHOOL Bishopville, SC
WEST LEE SCHOOL Bishopville, SC
JOHNSON MIDDLE SCHOOL Timmonsville, SC
WEST ASHLEY MIDDLE Charleston, SC
FAIRFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL Winnsboro, SC
LAKE CITY ELEMENTARY Scranton, SC
BLACK STREET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Walterboro, SC
HYATT PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Columbia, SC
SCOTT’S BRANCH MIDDLE Summerton, SC
NEWBERRY MIDDLE SCHOOL Newberry, SC
GIBBES MIDDLE SCHOOL Columbia, SC
BLACKVILLE HILDA JR. HIGH SCHOOL Blackville, SC
RAINES CENTENARY ELEMENTARY Marion, SC
ESTILL MIDDLE SCHOOL Estill, SC
W. G. SANDERS MIDDLE SCHOOL Columbia, SC
THE PHOENIX CENTER Paxville, SC
HAUT GAP MIDDLE Charleston, SC
BEREA MIDDLE SCHOOL Berea, SC
BENNETTSVILLE MIDDLE Bennettsville, SC
MYLES W WHITLOCK JR HIGH Spartanburg, SC
ALLENDALE-FAIRFAX MIDDLE Fairfax, SC
CHESTNUT OAK MIDDLE Sumter, SC
RIDGELAND MIDDLE Ridgeland, SC
ST STEPHEN MIDDLE St. Stephen, SC
BLENHEIM ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE Blenheim, SC
W A PERRY MIDDLE SCHOOL Columbia, SC
LAKEVIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL Sans Souci, SC
DORMAN HIGH FRESHMAN CAMPUS Roebuck, SC
ALCORN MIDDLE SCHOOL Columbia, SC
CHOICES SCHOOL Florence, SC
CHARLESTON DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY Charleston, SC
MIDLANDS MATH AND BUSINESS ACADEMY Columbia, SC
BRENTWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL North Charleston, SC
MORNINGSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL North Charleston, SC
YOUTHBUILD CHARLESTON CENTER North Charleston, SC
KENNEDY/LLOYD CHARTER SCHOOL Aiken, SC