The Palmetto Learning Center in Chesterfield was packed with parents, teachers and students last Monday evening as members of the Chesterfield County School Board recognized students across the county who achieved perfect scores on their PASS test this year. However, state and federal report cards for the school district’s performance this year, were not exactly perfect.
According to Chesterfield County Superintendent Harrison Goodwin, one of the reasons the county hasn’t scored well is “we’re operating under two separate programs.” The state and federal rating systems measure the same aspects of education, said Goodwin, but in different ways.
The various levels of student performance from one “sub-group” to another can cause what’s known as an “achievement gap.” That’s another big factor influencing ours scores, said Goodwin. “The question is, how do we close those gaps? And so the game plan is to work on closing those gaps.”
“And literacy,” said Goodwin, is the name of the game plan which aims to put books “in the hands of students” during the summer months and through out the year. “If you can’t read the science test,” he said, “you can’t pass the science test.”
Goodwin explained that South Carolina laws require high schools to track every student, once they enroll in Chesterfield County, from ninth grade through their expected graduation year. If a student moves away, without properly transferring to another school, it could potentially damage Chesterfield County’s graduation rate.
“A former student could actually be a Rhodes Scholar after they transfer, and they would still be marked as a drop-out for our records if we were unable to track them down,” said Goodwin.
Chesterfield County students receiving perfect scores in third grade were Brishana Nicole Jackson, Alan Jeremy Wallace, Kaylee Alexis Blair and Autumn Maria Kaltwang. Fourth grade students included Kathryn Isabelle Bollman, Savannah Dianne Dover, Brantley Ranse Hatchell, John Douglas Henderson and Walker Johnson Kirkly.
Fifth grade students recognized for perfect scores were Nicholas Christopher Robins, David Aaron Trexler, John Willian Haigler, Genna Katherine Rivers, Zoe RheAne Faulkenberry, Jodi Alese Hatcher, Aleah Hope Nicholson and Madison Blair Quick.
Achieving perfect scores in seventh grade were Destiny Spring Ivy, Chastity Delores Jones, Devin Leigh Berry, Jessica Shier Tindal, Darian Kershaw Sullivan and Brandon Charles Edwards. And in eight grade were Keely May Causey, Joseph Seth Plyler, Emily Kathleen Sweatt, Aidan Hart Jones and Amber Beth Moser.
The next monthly meeting of the school board will be held Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at 4 p.m. at Central High School in Pageland.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.