SDPC students outperform statewide scores on tests

COUNTY — Students in the School District of Pickens County outpaced their counterparts across the state on the SC Ready and on the SC PASS assessments in 2016. SC Ready is the new standardized test for English and Math in grades 3-8. SC PASS tests are given in grades 4-8 in Science and Social Studies. Both tests are aligned to the new South Carolina College and Career-Ready Standards

“Since this is the first year the SC Ready test was given, we can’t compare our scores to past performance, but we can compare how our students did compared to the rest of the state. By that measure, our students have continued to perform well,” said Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC superintendent.

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SDPC’s scores for percentage of students who “Meet or Exceed” expectations on the SC Ready Test were above SC scores in every grade and subject except 6th grade English, which tied the state average. Scores on the SCPASS tests were above SC scores in every grade and subject except 5th grade Social Studies, which was less than one percent lower than the state average.

“The past few years have been a time of rapid changes in standards and in the rigor of questions being asked on tests,” SDPC assistant superintendent of instruction Sharon Huff said. “The SC Ready scores are a brand new baseline for future growth, and the bar for what ‘meets expectations’ has been raised. Through all of these changes, our position relative to other districts in the state has remained about the same. What we know from past experiences such as the Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards, is that when clear goals are set and remain in place, our schools rise to the challenge.”

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Among the 82 school districts in South Carolina, SDPC’s scores on SC Ready ranked between 28th (6th grade English) and 15th (4th grade math).

“Historically, we’ve seen that as long as our elementary and middle school scores rank above 30, those students go on to finish in the top 10 on things like the ACT, SAT and WorkKeys in high school,” Huff said. “That is due to our great high schools and excellent culture in Pickens County that encourages students to finish strong through graduation. We always have room to grow, but these scores make me very confident that our students are in a position to excel as they continue into high school, colleges, and careers.”