CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A national education nonprofit is calling the Charleston County School District’s plan to overhaul the district “one of the first bold moves in the United States."
On Monday, the Charleston County School District’s Board of Trustees approved an action plan designed to restructure the entire district with changes coming to schools in West Ashley, North Charleston, downtown and magnet, partial magnet, as well as choice schools.
The proposed mission-critical actions include changing attendance lines and changing the way they recruit teachers in areas with low performing schools.
StriveTogether, a national education nonprofit said they admire CCSD’s plan to “provide equitable access to quality education for every child in their community.”
In a statement, StriveTogether CEO Jennifer Blatz said, “This is one of the first bold moves in the United States we’ve seen recently to redraw school attendance zone lines to increase opportunity for more children...They’re fixing broken systems, closing equity gaps and building stronger communities.”
“Anytime that you change boundary lines to open opportunities, it definitely opens to integration so the kids definitely get to learn from each other,” Chicora Elementary parent Lisa Berkeley said. “The teachers get to learn from the children and then you’re able to adjust for the future. I think it’s great.”
Berkeley’s son is a fifth grader at Chicroa Elementary, and she said she’s also excited the district’s plan would focus on potentially bringing more experienced teachers to North Charleston.
“Experience always ensues knowledge and wisdom,” Berkeley said.
One of the mission-critical actions for North Charleston is to recruit and employ highly successful principals and teachers and give hold them accountable to improve the school.
Superintendent Gerita Postelewait said the high performing schools had more experienced teachers.
She said in order for lower performing schools to obtain teachers that have a track of creating growth, the district could try to work on offering differentiated salaries.
According to state report cards, North Charleston has some of the lowest performing schools in the district.
On average, teachers at schools deemed unsatisfactory by the state have an average of eight years teaching experience. At excellent rated schools, teachers have an average of 14.34 years.