In July 2009, the SC Chamber of Commerce’s Excellence in Education Council (EEC) released its education goals. A plan was then born marrying the business community’s needs with the education community’s achievable deliverables. Below is a brief summary of progress toward 10 benchmarks that were set to reach these goals. Significant strides have been made in the education of all South Carolinians, from pre-K through adulthood, but there’s still work to do.

1 With a goal of 99 percent, 98 percent of SC high school students now have electronic Individual Graduation Plans.

2 With a goal of 85 percent, 80.1 percent of SC high school students had on-time graduations in 2014.

3 With a goal of 80 percent, 75 percent of all school districts are eligible to serve at-risk children in full-day 4K programs.

4 With a goal to be in the top 5 states, SC’s national ranking for NAEP score improvement1 in 2013 versus 2011 shows that for 4th grade, reading is unchanged at 39th and math dropped to 39th from 37th. For 8th grade, reading rose to 36th from 38th and math rose to 31st from 34th.

5 With a goal of 5 percent reduction of the student achievement gap for PASS testing, 2014 analysis for 3rd through 8th grades revealed the writing gap has widened; the ELA, science and social studies gaps have narrowed; and the math gap has remained unchanged.

6 In an effort to require all SC high school seniors to have a WorkKeys® certificate, all 11th grade students must take the WorkKeys® readiness assessment.

7 2013-14 yielded impressive growth granting 8,713 GED diplomas, 862 high school diplomas and 10,240 WorkKeys® certificates. SC’s goal is 15,000 GED’s awarded annually.

8 SC has 678 apprenticeship programs (up from 190) and 5,446 active apprentices (up from 1,500), with 10,400+ total apprentices served.

9 With a goal to exceed the national average for adults holding 2- or 4-year degrees, 2011 US Census data states 34.2 percent of SC’s adults hold 2- or 4-year degrees, 4.5 percent below the national average.

10 A brief setback has occurred for SC’s goal of having a clear, coherent standardized pathway for adults to further their education in 2013 due to lack of funding. The Council on Competiveness’ Connect Adults Committee has been enlisted to help identify a new approach to fulfilling this goal.

See full article here.Footnotes: 1 The National Assessment of Educational Progress.

For more information or to get involved, contact Robbie Barnett, associate vice president of workforce, education and manufacturing policy, at 803-255-2625 or