Lowcountry schools districts hold ground, improve in report cards

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCSC) - The number of South Carolina public schools and districts receiving "excellent" or "good" ratings increased significantly this year, and the Lowcountry was well represented.

That's despite a steady rise in the percentage of students living in poverty.

Data released Tuesday shows the state had a 27% increase in districts and 19% increase in individual schools achieving those top two rankings on 2012 report cards.

That means 61% of students attend the state's best-rated schools, compared with 9% who attend the worst. Thirty percent attend schools with "average" performance.

Two Lowcountry school districts, Georgetown County and Dorchester District 2, saw their "absolute rating" rise from "good" to "excellent."

Charleston County and Berkeley County both received "good" marks, with Berkeley County making a step up from their "average" score last year.

Dorchester District 4 remained at an absolute ranking of "average," as did Colleton County and Beaufort County.

Williamsburg County saw an increase from "below average" to "average."

However, the report cards also show the state's worst-performing schools appear stuck there. Thirty schools have been rated "at risk" for four consecutive years.

3 of every four high school students statewide graduated on time this year.

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