Our Data Sources

The Core Indicators and performance measures used to our track progress were selected on the basis that they are consistently available over time; produced by trusted sources; understood by local stakeholders; and actionable and results-oriented. For the Core Indicators associated with K-12, the data reflect the weighted averages for students from all four public school districts serving the tri-county area.

Student demographics of racial/ethnic background and income are provided by the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDOE). Because there is insufficient data on children of some racial/ethnic backgrounds, references in this report are limited to Black, White and Hispanic children. Students identified as lower income are those who have qualified for free or reduced priced meals based upon household income at or below 185% of the federal poverty line – roughly $44,123 for a family of 4 (2014).

As South Carolina continues to refine subject and grade level standards, state-mandated student assessments measuring proficiency also continue to change.  Changes to the assessments make year to year comparisons difficult and can expose students and educators to a constant state of flux.

Selected Student Assessments: Academic Years 2013/14-2015/16

Purpose 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Kindergarten Readiness None mCLASS:Circle DRA 2nd Edition Plus
3rd & 8th Grade Reading and Math SC PASS ACT Aspire SC READY
11th Grade College Readiness Not applicable ACT Unknown
11th Grade Workforce Readiness Not applicable ACT Work Keys ACT Work Keys
  • The DRA 2nd edition Plus replaced the mCLASS:Circle kindergarten readiness assessment during fall 2015, shifting attention to early literacy as an indication of school readiness.
  • For the first time last spring 2015, SC students were tested using the nationally-normed, ACT Aspire assessments in reading and math from grades 3 to 8. Students scoring ready and above are ultimately on track for college readiness and those scoring close, not ready and needs supports are not.
  • SC also implemented the ACT College Readiness exam and expanded the ACT Work Keys to all 11th graders, enabling a better understanding of the college and career readiness of our students.
  • High school graduation rates are the percentage of students who receive a diploma within four years of entering the 9th grade as reported to the SCDOE.
  • Postsecondary indicators include students pursuing and/or completing two or four year undergraduate degrees or certificates from private and public nonprofit institutions of higher education (IHEs). Enrollment data currently reflect full time enrollment at the five IHEs in the tri-county region that offer programs for first time freshmen (Charleston Southern University, the College of Charleston, The Citadel, Trident Technical College, and the Medical University of South Carolina.) Completion data reflects undergraduate degrees or certificates awarded by local IHEs. We also include data on enrollment and completion for local high school graduates matriculating at any IHE.

Although it is useful to have a better understanding of student performance at the national level and to know as early as possible which students could use support to achieve future college and career readiness, changes to the assessments make year to year comparisons difficult and can expose students and educators to a constant state of flux. For instance, students in 3rd to 8th grades will have taken 3 different reading and math assessments in 3 years by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

Students in 3rd to 8th grades will have taken 3 different reading and math assessments in 3 years by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.