Horry County Schools students outpaced state results in the S.C. End-of-Course Examination Program, while Georgetown County students also saw progress, according to information released by the S.C. Department of Education.
The state EOC tests are given in the four core content areas of biology, English, algebra and U.S. history and constitution in middle and high schools as required by the Education Accountability Act of 1998. Test results count for 20 percent of each student’s final grade in that course, and they are used as a performance measure on state report cards.
Statewide, the passage rate and average score for S.C. students increased in biology, English, and U.S. history and the constitution, while in algebra, the pass rate declined, but the average score increased. The state’s mean scale scores were 78.2 for English, 80.8 for biology, 71.2 for U.S. history and constitution, and 81.0 for algebra.
In Horry County, mean scale scores improved in three of the four tests. In biology the score was 81.8, up from 80.5 last year; in English, it was 79.4, up from 78.5 last year; and in U.S. history and constitution, it was 74.1, up from 73.0 last year. The mean scale score in algebra remained at 84.1, the same as last year, but was 3.1 points above the state’s score.
“Overall, there is some positive news in this information,” said Teal Britton, HCS spokeswoman. “The No. 1 thing to look for is incremental improvement over time -- a dramatic increase or decrease would be cause for concern -- and we improved this year.”
For the Georgetown County School District, the scores were 77.8 for biology, 77.2 for English, 70.1 for U.S. history and constitution, and 80.0 for algebra. The district’s middle schools scored higher than the state in mean scale scores for English and algebra, with Carvers Bay Middle School at 91.3 in algebra and 83.7 in English; Waccamaw Middle School, 91.1 in algebra, 89.3 in English; Rosemary Middle School, 89.3 in algebra, 82.9 in English; and Georgetown Middle School, 86.1 in algebra, 82.8 in English.
U.S. history was where students in Georgetown district scored lowest, and the subject continues to be a challenge, according to a statement from the district, and literacy strategies have been put in place at elementary and middle schools to help improve their English scores. The district has lost extra teachers who assisted with English language arts and math in its middle and high schools, according to the statement.
“Measuring student achievement is an important tool to improving instructional practices,” said State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais. “End-of-course assessments demonstrate how well high school students have mastered key concepts and skills they will use after graduation.”
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.