Graduation rates continue to rise across S.C., local schools grab #1 spot

South Carolina (WPDE) — The South Carolina Department of Education and State Superintendent Molly Spearman released the 2015-2016 state report cards for SC schools and districts on Tuesday and trumpeted the fact that the state's high school graduation rate continues to climb.

Spearman said the rate climbed to "an unprecedented 82.6 percent" and pointed out that that was an more than 2 percent increase from last year.

She said it was a "true testament to the collaborative effort of students, parents, and educators to ensure that all graduates are prepared for success and meeting the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate," according to a news release.

And Darlington County School District (DCSD) ranked No. 1 in four-year graduation rate in South Carolina in 2016, according to the data released.

DCSD students graduated at a rate of 94.5 percent, an increase of more than 2 percent from 2015. The state average was 82.6 percent.

Within the school district the rates were as follows:

  • Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology - 100 percent graduation rate
  • Lamar High School - 98.3 percent
  • Darlington High School - 95.1 percent
  • Hartsville High School - 91.5 percent.

The district pointed out in its release that Darlington High saw an increase to its graduate rate of nearly 4 percent, while Hartsville High’s rate rose by nearly 3 percent.

The data came as part of the SCDE’s release of 2015-2016 state report cards for schools and districts. To see the report for each school click here.

"Report cards are designed to provide a progress report on how schools and districts are performing on the World Class Knowledge, Skills and Characteristics outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate; and are reported through test score measures that indicate readiness for college using the ACT, SAT, End of Course Tests, and readiness for careers using WorkKeys. The SC READY tests in grades 3-8 are also aligned to show student readiness for the college entrance tests they will ultimately take in high school.

The new report cards also highlight a multitude of opportunities provided to students at each grade level, such as advanced placement, International Baccalaureate and dual credit participation. Report cards also provide vital information to the business community by showing the number of students enrolled in career and technical courses, number of students who have earned an industry certification, and students who participated in an apprenticeship or work based learning opportunity.

Pursuant to South Carolina’s Act 200, report card ratings for both districts and schools are suspended for two years, in 2015 and 2016. Districts and schools will receive report cards under a new accountability system for the 2016-17 school year, which will be released in the fall of 2017," the release said.