The Greenville County School District was given a "Excellent" absolute rating and a "good" growth rating by the S.C. Department of Education for the 2012 report card.
Ninety-four percent of Greenville County schools (78 schools) received Absolute ratings of Excellent, Good, or Average on their 2012 School Report Cards, the same number as in 2011. Nineteen schools improved their Absolute ratings, 60 maintained their Absolute rating, and three schools earned a lower Absolute rating.
Schools in the Mauldin and Simpsonville area receiving ratings of "Excellent" include Oakview Elementary, Bethel Elementary, Bell's Crossing Elementary, Plain Elementary, and Mauldin High.
Oakview Elementary in Simpsonville, Riverside High, and Sterling School have achieved Excellent Absolute ratings every year that Report Cards have been released.
South Carolina had 42 school districts with an absolute rating of Excellent or Good in 2012, up from 33 in 2011, according to a press release from the SCDE. The state had 629 schools with an absolute rating of Excellent or Good in 2012, up from 529 in 2011, for a 19 percent increase.
Neil C. Robinson, Jr., Chairman of the Education Oversight Committee, said “teachers, students, principals, school board members, parents, legislators and community leaders should be commended for the results on the 2012 state report cards.”
Robinson said there are still challenges to be battled and improvements to be made. Among them:
1. Seven in 10 children attending public schools in SC are eligible for the free/reduced price lunch and/or Medicaid programs. Of the 61 school districts with a poverty index above 70 percent, 21 had an absolute rating of Excellent or Good. "This performance is evidence that high academic standards, quality teaching, parental involvement, and community support can mitigate the negative impact of poverty on students and their successes."
2. There are eight school districts rated At Risk, down from nine in 2011. Thirty schools with an absolute rating of At Risk in 2009 are still rated At Risk in 2012. Nine percent of students in South Carolina attended a school with a rating of at-risk or below average. “We must put our energy into putting an end to persistent underperformance in these schools. The percentage has to come down," Robinson said.
3. Businesses need better-qualified and -educated students, Robinson said. One in four children still do not graduate from high school. And one in five children is not reading on grade level in 3rd grade.