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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

School ratings, related stats now available online
Posted on Tue, Jan. 29, 2008
The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee launched a new online service today to assist adults in understanding how to evaluate public school performance.

The school reform watchdog agency joined with the company that produces and manages South Carolina’s state government Web site to provide quick access to annual statistics and other data used to gauge how public schools measure up to academic achievement goals.

In addition to ratings based on annual test score performance, the “searchable database” provides access to other facts, such as enrollment, poverty levels, graduation rates and the amount of money spent on students, teacher pay and instruction.

“The information on the Web site and the school and district report cards are tools for improving our schools and energizing communities,” said Jo Anne Anderson, EOC’s executive director. “The EOC and our partners are pleased to expand information access to wider audiences.”

Each fall, the state publishes annual report cards that includes much of the information now being made available in database form. Every school in South Carolina and all 85 districts are subjected to these annual reviews.

Anderson’s staff said it hopes the new Web site will promote a better understanding of how performance measures are used to evaluate public school performance as well as assist those looking to relocate to South Carolina.

The EOC is working with South Carolina Interactive, a Columbia-based subsidiary of NIC, which provides online services to an estimated 2,600 state and local agencies.

Bill Robinson

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