Published Online: January 3, 2006

South Carolina's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,091
Public school teachers 45,830
Pre-K-12 students 699,198
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $4.9 billion
Minority students 45.6%
Children in poverty 23%
Students with disabilities 15.7%
English-language learners 1.5%

Summary of Grades

South Carolina scores at or above average in each of the four graded education policy categories in Quality Counts.

The state ranks near the top of the nation in standards and accountability. Its standards for the four core subjects have been rated as clear, specific, and grounded in content at all grade spans by the American Federation of Teachers. One of only 16 states to reward high-performing or improving schools, South Carolina also fares well on measures of school accountability.

In teacher quality, South Carolina ranks second in the nation. The state requires teachers receiving their initial license to pass a comprehensive battery of assessments. Strong measures are also in place to provide teachers with professional support and training once they have entered the classroom.

South Carolina earns an average grade in school climate. It fares well on measures related to facility issues and class size, although less well on school size. There is room for improvement in other areas, such as school safety. For example, the state lacks provisions related to school bullying or harassment.

The state also posts average scores for resource equity. South Carolina’s wealth-neutrality score shows that, as in most states, wealthier districts tend to have higher per-pupil funding levels than poorer districts do.

State Policy Report Card
South Carolina Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability A B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality A C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity C C
Overall Grade B C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 40 40
Assessment 26.02 30
School accountability 30 30
96 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 29.4 35
Teacher assessment 30 30
Professional support and training 20 20
Accountability for teacher quality 13.65 15
93 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 10.83 15
School safety 15.33 20
Parent involvement 10.5 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 10 10
School size 6 10
School facilities 10 10
78 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 26 33.3
McLoone Index 24 33.3
Coefficient of variation 26 33.3
76 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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