South Carolina to pursue legal, financial action after state report card release is postponed

South Carolina to pursue legal, financial action after state report card release is postponed

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The state of South Carolina will pursue legal and financial action against the company holding up the release of the South Carolina school report cards.

South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced last week that the release of the new school report cards was postponed after an error in data supplied by AdvancED.

"We learned of errors in critical data files claimed to be accurate by a vendor, AdvancED. This data is used to measure school quality, one of the indicators that makes up our school rating system, " State Superintendent Molly Spearman said last week. “These inaccuracies cannot be remedied in time for the scheduled release and those at fault will be held responsible.”

AvancED is the company providing student survey information that will contribute to the school report cards. AdvancED is under a $1.3 million five-year contract. The company is responsible for the information holding up the report card release.

The company said on Monday several factors lead to the error.

“Student Engagement Survey data provided to the State of South Carolina as a part of their school quality accountability measure was inaccurate due to a number of factors related to the administration of the survey by districts and the scoring process facilitated by AdvancED. We apologize for the errors, accept responsibility and have initiated steps to ensure that it does not happen again in the future,” AdvancED President and CEO Dr. Mark Elgart said.

When the Department of Education was asked about a refund for not providing information on time, a spokesperson for the agency said the state will pursue “all remedies both legal and financially” to hold the company holding the release of the report cards accountable.

AdvancED is responsible for providing a single piece of information on the report card, a Dept. of Education spokesperson said.

“This is the student engagement survey which serves as our school quality indicator that impacts school ratings. The other 10 million data points are handled in house and were ready and on schedule for release,” Department of Education spokesman Ryan Brown said in an email Monday.

This year’s state issued school report cards will be different.

A new South Carolina law requires the report cards to have a grading system of 1-100. In addition, the law states that the indicator system must be “logical.”

The report cards will not give a rating for district, but individual schools. The ratings will range from excellent to unsatisfactory.

VIDEO: State education department demands refund over report delays

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