According to results released today by the South Carolina Department of Education, students in the School District of Pickens County improved their scores on 2004-2005 end-of-course algebra tests. The Algebra 1 mean scale score for the 1,224 Pickens County students tested improved from 82.5 to 83.9, equivalent to a grade of C on the state’s 100-point uniform grading scale.
Mandated by South Carolina’s Education Accountability Act, the end of-course tests count 20 percent for the final grade in that course.
Grade distribution in algebra also improved from the first year of testing. The percentage of students scoring A or B increased nearly six percentage points, from 42.8 to 48.5. Overall, 21.7 percent scored A, 26.8 percent B, 28.3 percent C, 13.0 percent D, and 10.3 percent F.
2004-05 was the first year for end of-course testing in English, biology, and physical science. The agency released first-year “baseline” scores for those courses.
Baseline mean scale scores for Pickens County were 78.7 for English 1, 78.5 for biology and 69.9 for physical science. Under South Carolina’s uniform grading scale, an A is 92-100; a B is 85-92; a C is 77-84; and a D is 70-76. Any grade of 69 or below is an F.
Grades were distributed as follows: English — 12.7 percent A; 23.6 percent B; 22.9 percent C; 16.6 percent D; and 24.3 percent F.
Biology — 10.7 percent A; 15.6 percent B; 25.1 percent C; 32.6 percent D; and 16.0 percent F.
Physical science — 5.5 percent A, 9.2 percent B, 13.7 percent C, 23.2 percent D and 48.3 percent F.
Dr. Mendel H. Stewart, superintendent, said, “Overall, we are pleased with the end-of-course results. The district scored above the state average in all four subject areas. Algebra 1 scores have improved, and we hope to continue that trend. We are, however, concerned about the physical science scores. We are looking at ways to improve in all areas.”
Stewart concluded, “Our teachers work diligently to prepare Pickens County students. We appreciate their hard work each day in making student achievement a priority.”