March 2017 Update Welcome to the monthly update from the SC Education Oversight Committee. If you need additional information, please feel free to visit us online at the link below or call the office at 803-734-6148. Visit Our Website
Education accountability bills being debated in the SC House and Senate
There are currently bills moving through the education committees of both the SC House (H.3969) and SC Senate (S.534) that address the recommendations made by the Education Oversight Committee (EOC) on January 17, 2017. The recommendations, which address merging the federal and state accountability systems, were required as part of Act 200 of 2014, which was enacted by the SC General Assembly. The recommendations followed 18 months of engagement from stakeholders representing parents, community members, business leaders, and educators.
The EOC recommended the adoption of two transformational goals for South Carolina: By 2035, the on-time graduation rate of the state, each district, and each high school in South Carolina should be 90 percent. Children born in the current calendar year should graduate from high school in 2035. Beginning with the graduating class of 2020, the state must increase annually by 5 percent the percentage of students who graduate ready to enter postsecondary education to pursue a degree or national industry credential without the need for remediation in mathematics or English. Additionally, the EOC recommendations made the following points: The recommendations reduce summative (end-of-year) testing of students using the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS). Science would be tested in grades 4, 6, and 8. Social Studies would be tested in grades 5 and 7. While summative testing is reduced in the recommendations, the EOC suggested South Carolina participate in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to compare our achievement in South Carolina with students in other states and countries. Although the EOC recommended that school districts not receive a summative rating, schools under the recommendations would receive a summative rating as well as a rating for each of four indicators under the proposal. The ratings for both the school summative rating as well as the component ratings, per the recommendations, would use the nomenclature currently in state statute, Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average, and At-Risk and used since 1998. A sample of the recommended elementary school report card "landing page" can be found online. The recommendations also advocate measuring student growth in English language arts and mathematics using a value-added system. A value-added system compares student growth with students who start out the academic year at a comparable academic level and who have the same demographics. View the full EOC recommendations here.
Computer science survey reveals interest from SC teachers in learning more and teaching in the field
At the request of members of the S.C. General Assembly, the Education Oversight Committee (EOC) created a survey to gather information from South Carolina teachers about their experience, training, and interest level as it relates to computer science. The survey generated 4,466 responses from 55 school districts.
Although 85 percent of respondents did not have experience teaching computer science to students, over half of those surveyed stated they would be interested in taking advantage of professional learning opportunities related to computer science if their district or the state offered them. Forty percent of respondents also indicated they have an interest in teaching computer science to students. To see the summary of the survey results, read the summary.
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