Graduation rate on the decline in SC; majority of students not prepared for life after graduation

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Generic (Source: Pixabay)
Published: Dec. 3, 2018 at 9:54 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Graduation rates across South Carolina high schools are on the decline, according to South Carolina issued state report cards.

The South Carolina Department of Education released its state report cards on Thursday showing 34 percent of tri-county schools are either below average or unsatisfactory. It also shows a portion of students that are graduating are not college and career ready.

In the Lowcountry, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester District 2, and Dorchester District 4 had their on-time graduation rates go up.

Colleton, Georgetown, and Williamsburg county school districts had their graduations decrease.

You can check how your child’s school did here.

The state average graduation rate is 81%.

State report card data shows that some of the students walking across the stage with a diploma are not ready for life outside of high school.

In Williamsburg County School District, 15% of graduates were deemed college and career ready by the state. In a larger school district like Berkeley County, 35.9% of diploma earners were deemed college and career ready.

“It was rocky, but I just had to find my own path. It was a little rough,” Cane Bay High School graduate Cooper Britton said.

Britton graduated in 2017 and said he was prepared, but not prepared for the real world.

“I went to business school and decided I wasn’t book smart so went to welding and doing a trade school,” Britton said. “With high school I know your senior year they didn’t really have particular classes to have you go to college. So I was a little stuck there [in business school] going to business classes and I had to take math classes and it was pretty much a struggle.”

"I appreciate the work being done in our schools and am happy to see high scores in many categories at several of our schools. However, this is not the best way to measure what our schools are accomplishing,” Berkeley County School District Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram said following the report card release.

Across South Carolina the number of high schoolers graduating is going down and their readiness for getting a diploma is even lower.

The report cards show that some of the schools were scored higher on graduation rates than they did preparing the students for graduation, painting a picture that some people aren’t ready for what’s after high school but graduating anyway.

Below is a table showing this year’s graduation rate compared to last year’s.

On-Time Graduation Rate20172018
Berkeley County School District83.5083.80
Charleston County School District84.2083.50
Colleton County School District86.5085.00
Dorchester School District Two86.0088.70
Dorchester School District Four 87.4089.90
Georgetown County Schools90.3086.20
Williamsburg County School District 83.8080.60

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