South Carolina elementary school students ranked among the lowest in test scores in the country on the annual Nation’s Report Card.
Nationally, fourth-grade students’ math scores ranked 43rd and their reading scores 47th, coming in above only Louisiana, New Mexico and Alaska.
South Carolina’s eighth-graders’ test scores did not rank much higher, coming in at 44th for both math and reading.
The scores reflect the larger state-wide issue of South Carolina’s public school system consistently ranking among the lowest in the country.
Elementary students’ low reading scores have been addressed by South Carolina state legislatures in the past few years. The Read to Succeed Act, passed in 2014, committed South Carolina schools to focus on literacy. The act will require third graders to take a literacy test in order to move on to fourth grade.
South Carolina’s public school system is also facing a teacher shortage. Nationally, it ranked 47th in teachers’ salaries.
In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked South Carolina’s education last out of all 50 states; this year it placed 48th.