National report: Across the state minority students are performing at lower levels

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina state report cards highlight concerns that minority students may not be achieving as high as they could be.

The data in the nation’s NAEP, or National Assessment of Educational Progress, measures what students across the nation know and can do.

The information from 2017 shows 50 percent of black South Carolina fourth graders are scoring below basic reading levels. That shows more than half of the state’s black fourth graders are not reading at the levels they should be.

That number is compared to 28 percent of their white classmates who are also reading below the basic reading level.

The information also shows more white students are reading at advanced than any other student. The same trend continued for how many eighth graders understand math.

Two thirds of black students across the state are below basic math levels compared to less than a third of white students.

Charleston County School Board member Cindy Bohn Coats said this isn’t just a Lowcountry or Charleston issue, but a state issue.

“The very fact that this is the state report and this problem is pervasive, it’s extensive, and it’s everywhere,” Coats said. “Naturally every district has been talking about this. CCSD has been working on this, clearly.”

Coats said the school board has been working on getting documents and plans produced for the last two years, and is hoping the district will implement this to see results in the classroom.

“The board has done its part. It approved the strategic plan. It agreed and approved the Clemson study. It agreed and supported the AdvanceEd accreditation process,” Coats said. “It’s time for the staff to make these changes show up in student achievement.”

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