I recently visited the S.C. Department of Education's website and obtained the Jasper County School District's results for the 2014 Palmetto Assessment of State Standards test. My comparison of the test results from last year to this year indicates that performance fell in every subject category except one, which remained essentially the same.
I may be unqualified to determine the statistical significance of the decrease, but I can state with certainty that there has been no improvement from last year.
We're not getting to where we need to go. Comparison of the district's 2014 PASS performance to that of the state's provides shocking results. The percentage of students passing the test is dramatically lower than the state averages in all subject categories.
We cannot continue on this way. I've read that a definition of insanity is to continue to do things the same way and expect different results. That appears to be what is happening now. The school district is in a defensive crouch, trying to fend off its critics. Jasper County citizens are exasperated. The problems are multi-faceted and need immediate remedial action.
We need to hold the school board and school district accountable. We need concrete evidence that solutions are being put in place to improve the quality of education. The bottom line is that we owe the students of Jasper County an opportunity for a future.