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SC READY and SC PASS Results Released

Tue, 09/04/2018

Assessment release shows annual improvement in math, but one in four students still need substantial academic support in ELA and math

Editor's Note: The results of SC READY and SC PASS - by state, school and district - are available on the South Carolina Department of Education website.

Columbia, September 4, 2018 - Today, the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) released state, district and school level data for SC READY and SC PASS, state assessments administered in the spring of the 2017-18 school year. These tests are intended to provide an end-of-the-year "snapshot" of overall student performance. While student performance in mathematics is up from 2017 to 2018 in all grades, the majority of students statewide are not meeting grade level expectations in either math or English Language Arts (ELA).

Chairman of the Education Oversight Committee (EOC), Neil C. Robinson, Jr. commended the schools and students who saw increases in the percentage of students scoring at the highest level on these exams.

"I realize that addressing the academic needs of our most at risk students is the largest hurdle that we have," stated Robinson. "It will take support and involvement of parents and community leaders and a culture shift in our state if we are to see progress. All children need to be prepared with the academic skills to succeed in the 21st century and to benefit from our state's economic development gains."

SC READY is designed to measure whether students in grades 3 through 8 are learning the college- and career-ready standards in ELA, mathematics. Students in grades 4, 6 and 8 take an assessment in science to measure if students are mastering the South Carolina Science Academic Standards. SC PASS is administered to students in grades 5 and 7 to measure whether students are meeting state standards in social studies. In prior years, all students in grades 4 through 8 were assessed in science and social studies annually. Changes were made to the administration schedule during the 2017 legislative session.

 

For SC READY, student assessment results are characterized using four performance levels. Those levels and their descriptions are below:

  • Exceeds Expectations - The student exceeds expectations as defined by the grade-level content standards. The student is considered to be well prepared for the next grade level.
  • Meets Expectations - The student meets expectations as defined by the grade-level content standards. The student is considered to be prepared for the next grade level.
  • Approaches Expectations - The student approaches expectations as defined by the grade-level content standards. The student needs additional academic support to be prepared for the next grade level.
  • Does Not Meet Expectations - The student does not meet expectations as defined by the grade-level content standards. The student needs substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level.

The results are mixed.

  • Across all grades, more students met or exceeded grade-level expectations in mathematics from 2017 to 2018, with the greatest increase occurring at the 5th grade. These students were deemed prepared or well prepared for the next grade level. The increased performance across all grade levels was due to more students scoring at the highest achievement level, Exceeds Expectations.
  • Similarly, in English Language Arts, at all grade levels except grade 8, there was a greater percentage of students who met or exceeded grade-level expectations. Again, the increase was primarily due to more students scoring at the highest achievement level, Exceeds Expectations.
  • Overall, across all grades, 41 percent of students were prepared or well prepared for the next grade level in ELA. And, 44 percent were prepared or well prepared for the next grade level in mathematics. 
     
  • The percentage of 3rd grade students meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations in English Language Arts increased from 2017 to 2018, from 42.1 percent to 45.1 percent.

 

The concern is the persistently large percentage of students who are not meeting grade level expectations:

  • In 2018, 59 percent of students overall needed additional academic support or substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level in ELA. In mathematics, 56 percent of students needed additional academic support or substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level.
  • In both ELA and mathematics, across all grades, approximately 27 percent or one in four students are in need of substantial academic support; these are the children most at risk of not graduating college or career ready.
  • In science, the 2018 results were unchanged from 2017. Approximately 49 percent of students met or exceeded state standards in science.
  • In social studies, across all grade levels approximately 68 percent of students met or exceeded state standards in social studies, which was similar to the 2017 results.

Robinson noted a report released on August 22, 2018 from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute that was critical of South Carolina's current ELA standards, noting specifically that additional support resources need to be provided to teachers.

 

"We agree with Superintendent Spearman that teachers and students need additional resources," stated Robinson. "I have asked for a review of the ELA standards, based on the results of this report. If there are foundational issues with the standards and the supporting documents provided to teachers, we have to act sooner rather than later. Stronger standards are better for our students."

Robinson noted that the 2018 assessment results released today will also be used to determine the overall school ratings that will be released in November, the first school report cards and ratings issued since 2014.

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2018 SC READY Results: English Language Arts All Students in Grades 3-8

English Language Arts All Students in Grades 3-8: 58.8% Not Meeting Expectations, 41.2% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations

Displayed in blue on the Chart English Language Arts - 41.2% Meeting or Exceeding Grade Level Expectations

Displayed in orange on the chart English Language Arts - 58.8% Not Meeting Grade Level Expectations

 

SC READY Results: English Language Arts ALL Students in Grades 3-8, 2016-2018

English Language Arts All Students Grades 3-8, 2016-2018: 2018, 58.8% Not Meeting Expectations, 41.2% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations; 2017, 60.4% Not Meeting Expectations, 39.6% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations; 2016, 57.5% Not Meeting Expectations, 42.5% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations

Displayed in blue on the Chart English Language Arts - Meeting or Exceeding Grade Level Expectations

Displayed in orange on the chart English Language Arts - Not Meeting Grade Level Expectations
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2018 SC READY Results: Mathematics ALL Students in Grades 3-8

Mathematics All Students Grades 3-8: 56% Not Meeting Expectations, 44.1% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations

Displayed in blue on the Chart Mathematics - 44.1% Meeting or Exceeding Grade Level Expectations

Displayed in orange on the chart Mathematics - 56% Not Meeting Grade Level Expectations

 

SC READY Results: Mathematics ALL Students in Grades 3-8, 2016-2018

Mathematics All Students Grades 3-8, 2016-2018: 2018, 56% Not Meeting Expectations, 44.1% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations; 2017, 58.4% Not Meeting Expectations, 41.6% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations; 2016, 58% Not Meeting Expectations, 42.1% Meeting or Exceeding Expectations

Displayed in blue on the Chart Mathematics - Meeting or Exceeding Grade Level Expectations

Displayed in orange on the chart Mathematics - Not Meeting Grade Level Expectations

 

See SC READY and SC PASS scores (PDF) for all grades for 2016-2018.