Aiken PACT scores mixed

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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.

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2008 PACT Scores

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Grade Number Tested % Below Basic % Basic % Proficient % Advanced % Meet Standard

Aiken County schools

English/Language Arts

3 1743 11.6 33.0 49.2 6.2 88.4

4 1719 15.2 39.6 41.9 3.4 84.8

5 1785 21.7 46.6 29.4 2.4 78.3

6 1684 24.6 45.0 25.3 5.0 75.4

7 1772 24.0 44.6 27.1 4.2 76.0

8 1721 25.7 44.2 23.3 6.7 74.3

Math

3 1780 23.4 46.9 16.8 13.0 76.6

4 1760 18.8 39.1 22.2 19.9 81.2

5 1821 21.7 43.4 21.9 13.0 78.3

6 1695 21.9 36.4 23.6 18.1 78.1

7 1779 19.6 47.5 17.8 15.1 80.4

8 1728 24.4 52.1 15.6 7.9 75.6

Science

3 898 33.3 32.4 23.7 10.6 66.7

4 1759 29.9 33.8 18.6 17.7 70.1

5 913 41.5 29.4 11.1 18.1 58.5

6 870 43.8 24.4 16.6 15.3 56.2

7 1826 31.6 35.1 15.2 18.1 68.4

8 896 39.2 30.7 18.0 12.2 60.8

Social Studies

3 880 16.1 51.3 20.1 12.5 83.9

4 1754 25.4 40.9 18.2 15.4 74.6

5 914 36.7 32.2 16.4 14.8 63.3

6 869 23.8 34.8 16.8 24.6 76.2

7 1820 49.4 29.5 8.9 12.2 50.6

8 883 32.5 45.8 15.3 6.5 67.5

Edgefield County schools

English/Language Arts

3 289 12.8 27.7 51.9 7.6 87.2

4 292 15.4 45.5 35.3 3.8 84.6

5 290 23.4 52.1 21.7 2.8 76.6

6 287 25.1 40.1 30.3 4.5 74.9

7 316 18.4 46.8 30.7 4.1 81.6

8 299 20.7 45.5 25.8 8.0 79.3

Math

3 295 23.7 45.1 21.4 9.8 76.3

4 298 18.5 46.6 21.5 13.4 81.5

5 298 23.5 45.0 20.5 11.1 76.5

6 291 20.6 40.9 27.5 11.0 79.4

7 312 15.4 49.7 17.6 17.3 84.6

8 298 29.5 48.0 12.4 10.1 70.5

Science

3 148 29.7 32.4 23.0 14.9 70.3

4 298 28.9 36.9 16.8 17.4 71.1

5 151 41.7 25.8 13.2 19.2 58.3

6 143 49.0 26.6 18.2 6.3 51.0

7 321 29.0 43.0 15.9 12.1 71.0

8 149 34.9 40.3 12.8 12.1 65.1

Social Studies

3 148 16.9 43.9 25.0 14.2 83.1

4 298 24.8 43.0 21.1 11.1 75.2

5 149 34.2 35.6 12.8 17.4 65.8

6 148 31.8 48.6 13.5 6.1 68.2

7 320 42.2 38.1 9.7 10.0 57.8

8 148 27.7 52.7 13.5 6.1 72.3

State

English/Language Arts

3 51252 13.3 30.1 45.5 11.1 86.7

4 50234 19.2 35.3 40.6 4.9 80.8

5 49060 22.4 45.3 29.3 3.0 77.6

6 48937 25.2 38.8 28.1 7.9 74.8

7 50152 27.0 43.6 25.0 4.4 73.0

8 50395 29.0 43.1 22.0 5.9 71.0

Mathematics

3 52853 22.8 44.1 17.1 15.9 77.2

4 51806 21.0 37.1 21.2 20.7 79.0

5 50536 22.0 39.6 22.6 15.7 78.0

6 49878 24.3 34.8 21.3 19.6 75.7

7 50708 22.2 44.8 16.4 16.6 77.8

8 50654 30.3 48.9 14.0 6.8 69.7

Science

3 26592 28.9 33.1 24.0 14.0 71.1

4 52216 31.1 32.1 17.7 19.1 68.9

5 25581 38.6 27.2 13.1 21.1 61.4

6 25684 43.5 21.8 14.0 20.7 56.5

7 52467 30.2 35.7 14.5 19.6 69.8

8 26396 36.6 31.1 16.3 16.0 63.4

Social Studies

3 26449 16.1 41.1 22.1 20.6 83.9

4 52126 23.7 37.6 19.2 19.6 76.3

5 25499 33.7 32.7 15.3 18.3 66.3

6 25535 22.2 34.0 18.9 24.9 77.8

7 52355 43.6 31.1 9.2 16.1 56.4

8 26265 31.3 47.8 14.5 6.4 68.7

Source: South Carolina Department of Education

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