The South Carolina State Department of Education released its State Report Card ratings for public schools and for school districts throughout the state on Tuesday.
There was some encouraging news for Fairfield County in the report.
Despite a rocky few years of transition among its school superintendents and school board members, the Fairfield County School District was one of 31 districts that improved in S.C.
The Fairfield District improved from below average to average, as did districts of Lexington 2, Laurens 55, Laurens 56, Lexington 4, Spartanburg 7 and Williamsburg. Statewide 35.7 percent of school districts were rated average, with 17.9 percent rated good and 32.1 percent rated excellent.
Other bright spots in the report included Fairfield Central High School and the Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science.
The Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science was one of 17 schools with a poverty index of 90 percent or higher (94.47) that scored an absolute rating of good in 2012. That puts the school in line with others State Superintendent Mick Zais held up as examples where highly skilled, effective teaching professionals and administrators helped students achieve despite the added challenges of difficult socioeconomic conditions.
Also, Fairfield Central High School posted more solid gains since 2010 when it scored an average rating and had an at-risk growth rating.
In the three years since, the high school has improved such that the absolute rating is average and the growth rate is good. The absolute rating remained average for the past two years at FCHS.
Currently the ratings are based upon all-students performance indicator on state assessments including the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS), the High School Assessment Program (HSAP), End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP), on-time and five-year high school graduation rates, and other factors.
In addition to the Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science making gains, Fairfield Elementary increased its aboslute rating as well. However, every other elementary school in the district reported a decline in either their absolute ratings or in their growth ratings from 2011 levels.
Statewide, 20.6 percent of school report cards showed improvement in absolute rating and 65 school report cards, or 6.5 percent, declined in absolute rating.
For a full school-by-school report of scores and how the district’s on-time graduation rate matches up statewide based on the newly released data, please see Friday’s edition of The Herald Independent.