Richland School District 2 was given an "Excellent" absolute rating and "Good" growth rating by the S.C. Department of Education for the 2012 report card.
In 2011, Richland 2 scored "good." The only two schools below Excellent or Good status in 2012 were Richland Northeast High School and Windsor Elementary.
Superintendent Katie Brochu said, “As a district, academically we are on the right track and applaud the schools that are makingprogress. As is always the case, we know there is roomfor improvement and we are focusing on those areas.”
South Carolina had 42 school districts with an absolute rating of Excellent or Good in 2012, up from 33 in 2011, according to a press release from the SCDE. The state had 629 schools with an absolute rating of Excellent or Good in 2012, up from 529 in 2011, for a 19 percent increase.
Neil C. Robinson, Jr., Chairman of the Education Oversight Committee, said “teachers, students, principals, school board members, parents, legislators and community leaders should be commended for the results on the 2012 state report cards.”
Robinson said there are still challenges to be battled and improvements to be made. Among them:
1. Seven in 10 children attending public schools in SC are eligible for the free/reduced price lunch and/or Medicaid programs. Of the 61 school districts with a poverty index above 70 percent, 21 had an absolute rating of Excellent or Good. "This performance is evidence that high academic standards, quality teaching, parental involvement, and community support can mitigate the negative impact of poverty on students and their successes."
2. There are eight school districts rated At Risk, down from nine in 2011. Thirty schools with an absolute rating of At Risk in 2009 are still rated At Risk in 2012. Nine percent of students in South Carolina attended a school with a rating of at-risk or below average. “We must put our energy into putting an end to persistent underperformance in these schools. The percentage has to come down," Robinson said.
3. Businesses need better-qualified and -educated students, Robinson said. One in four children still do not graduate from high school. And one in five children is not reading on grade level in 3rd grade.