Reasons for school improvement


I have been reading in the newspaper about the test for the Pickens County School District. They have improved. High school students who are bound for college take the SAT and/or ACT college entrance exams. Pickens County students scored an average of 1501 combined in math, reading and writing on the SAT.

That was a 12 point improvement this year and our district ranked 5th in the state out of 84 districts. On the ACT college entrance exam students scored 22.4 combined math and English. Our students ranked 4th in the state on that test.

All high school students had been required to take the high school exit exam but the state legislature replaced that with the ACT WorkKeys test. This exam tests all 11th graders and measures their qualifications for hundreds of entry level jobs, focusing on applied math, reading for information, and information location. Our district ranked 8th in the state on the WorkKeys exam.

Our students are some of the brightest in the state. These are superior achievements and credit belongs to our students, teachers, parents, administrators and the school board.

But the AdvanceED monitoring report dated March 24, 2015, is about the Board of Trustees. In an earlier report they threatened to withhold accreditation. AdvanceEd’s focus should be on academics. Has it occurred to Advance ED that a more involved school board that listens to the public is the reason for the improving academics?

Dan Winchester

Pickens

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