Aiken County pupils exceeded English and math state averages on PACT in 2008 but lagged in social studies and science.
Scores on the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test, the standardized test for South Carolina since 1999, measure third- through eighth-grade pupil performance on state curricula.
Pupils are tested in English/language arts, math, science and social studies, with grade-level scores in four categories: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. Pupils must score at least basic, or a C average, to meet state standards.
Aiken County pupils outscored state averages in 13 of 24 grade-level tests, and Edgefield County beat state averages in 15 grade-level tests.
The largest gain in Aiken County came in fourth-grade science, up 8.7 percentage points to 70.1 percent of pupils meeting standards. The largest drop came in third-grade math, where pupils dropped 5 percentage points from 2007 to 76.6 percent of pupils meeting standards.
Edgefield County’s largest gains and drops came in science. Sixth-grade science scores dropped 10.3 percentage points, with 51 percent of pupils meeting standards. Seventh-grade science scores increased by 7.7 percentage points, with 71 percent of pupils passing standards.
Although Aiken County pupils fell below state averages in science and social studies, scores in those subjects showed some of the biggest gains statewide.
Pupils scoring proficient or advanced in third-grade science increased by 9.1 percentage points, and by 6.3 percentage points in eighth grade. Social studies gains of more than 6 percentage points were recorded in fifth grade, while fourth and eighth grade had gains greater than 5 percentage points. Sixth-graders scoring proficient or advanced in social studies had the largest increase for that part of the test – 8.2 percentage points.
“It’s good to see these improvements – especially in science and social studies as our decade of PACT testing concludes,” said State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex. “Having more students achieve at the highest levels has been one of our goals. But we’re nowhere near where we need to be as a state. Congratulations are certainly in order this year, for educators and students alike – but we have a long road ahead of us.”
The state uses PACT results to create yearly report cards for schools and districts to track progress for accountability goals. The federal government uses PACT results to judge how well South Carolina is meeting goals for the No Child Left Behind law. PACT will be replaced by the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, or PASS, this spring.
|Grade||Number Tested||% Below Basic||% Basic||% Proficient||% Advanced||% Meet Standard|
Source: South Carolina Department of Education