COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Education says they released school, district, and state report cards reflective of the unprecedented 2019-2020 school year.
The department says they released report cards Friday.
“The 2019-2020 school year was unlike any other that our state and nation has faced,” State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said. “With facilities closed due to the novel coronavirus in March our schools were unable to administer many of the accountability measures that are used for the basis of our annual report cards. Instead, these report cards highlight those aspects of our education system such as safety, finance, and classroom environment that are equally important.”
A statement from the SCDE said, “the novel coronavirus disease forced South Carolina school facilities to close for in-person learning from March 16, 2020 until the end of the school year. Fortunately, teachers and school and district leaders were able to deploy emergency remote learning overnight that allowed instruction to continue in a new virtual environment.”
Spearman says she sought to support students, parents, and educators with maximum flexibility to meet the needs of their local communities during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She says this included seeking relief from a variety of state and federal requirements that placed undue burdens on school populations.
The SCDE says the United States Department of Education approved South Carolina’s request to waive spring statewide assessments, accountability ratings, and certain reporting requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the 2019-2020 school year on Mar. 27.
For this reason, the department says the public will not see the typical state assessments results reflected on the 2020 iteration of the report cards.
Similarly, the descriptive overall ratings of Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average, and Unsatisfactory that are assigned to schools as well as individual report card indicators do not appear on the 2020 reports cards, the statement said.
However, key information about graduation rates, bullying and student safety, teacher and administrator salaries and retention, and other financial and classroom details that play important parts in ensuring that a school is a safe environment that fosters learning for all students is still available, SCDE said.
Report cards can be accessed by visiting the South Carolina Report Card website.