Beaufort News

Beaufort County School District: 2015 student scores drop on end-of-course exams

Beaufort County students posted lower scores on three of four state tests administered at the end of key high school-level courses in 2015, according to results released today by the South Carolina Department of Education.

South Carolina students' scores on end-of-course exams count for 20 percent of final grades in Algebra 1, English 1, Biology and U.S. History and Constitution.

Beaufort County students improved their percentages of passing grades in one course in 2015 while passing rates declined in three. But even with the year's declines, average scores remain higher than five years ago, the Beaufort County School District said in a news release.

Table: Percent of students passing end of course exams:

CourseBCSD 2010BCSD 2014BCSD 2015State 2015
Algebra 173.883.78185.5
English 171.378.373.774.8
US History/Constitution36.865.771.568.9

Graph below uses the data in the table above:

Beaufort County School District end-of-course exam percentages

Superintendent Jeff Moss said that the 2015 decreases followed several years of steady improvement.

"You never want to see test scores go down, but educators tend to focus on long-term trends more than on what scores do in any one school year," Moss said. "And our five-year trend data show improvement across the board - not only on end-of-course exams but on other student assessments, too. So we'll analyze these results and refocus on what we can do to maintain our positive momentum. We're not where we need to be, but we're definitely moving forward and making progress."

Reviewing longer-term trends, the biggest school-level improvements were:

- Algebra I: Beaufort High's passing rates improved from 54.7 percent in 2010 to 75.6 percent in 2015.

- Biology: Whale Branch Early College High's passing rates improved from 68.6 percent in 2011 (the first year of testing) to 86.4 percent in 2015.

- English I: Beaufort High's passing rates improved from 73.2 percent in 2010 to 80.3 percent in 2015.

- U.S. History and Constitution: Battery Creek passing rates improved from 26.2 percent in 2010 to 67.6 percent in 2015.