Education

Best for college? Scholarships? Teachers? How does your child’s SC school stack up?

Wondering which of your neighborhood schools are most likely to see their grads get college scholarships? Or go to college?

Have questions about how much poverty is in your school or the one down the road, or how many teachers have advanced degrees?

State report cards for S.C. public schools and school districts are out, answering those questions and more about the schools that S.C. families rely on to educate their children.

For the first time, parents interested in seeing how their child’s school stacks up to nearby schools can do so using an interactive tool on the S.C. Department of Education’s website.

Here are four takeaways from reports cards for Richland and Lexington county schools:

Best schools for scholarships?

In Richland County, Lexington-Richland 5’s Dutch Fork, Richland 1’s Dreher and Richland 2’s Blythewood high schools led the pack in students winning state-funded college scholarships. Sixty-percent of Dutch Fork’s seniors and nearly 39 percent of Dreher and Blythewood’s seniors last year scored well enough to qualify for state-funded scholarships.

Eight of 11 high schools in Lexington school districts reported more than 40 percent of their seniors were eligible for state scholarships.

At the top is Lexington 1’s Lexington High, where 80 percent of students were eligible for the scholarships.

Best schools for college-bound students?

In Richland County, District 5’s Dutch Fork and Spring Hill high schools led the pack for the percentage of graduates enrolling in college, followed closely by Richland 1 Middle College, located on the Midlands Technical College campus, and Richland 2’s Ridge View High

The Middle College, where high-school students can take college classes, reported 85 percent of its graduates enrolling in college. Ridge View reported 81 percent of its grads moving on to higher education.

Lexington High seniors ranked highest for winning scholarships in that county.

Huge wealth gaps in schools

How different is your school from the one across town?

Poverty is a good indicator, varying dramatically between schools within counties and districts.

For example, Richland 1 is home to C.A. Johnson and Eau Claire high schools, where 96 percent and 91 percent of students, respectively, live in poverty.

In northeast Columbia’s Richland 2, meanwhile, only one in four students at Blythewood High live in poverty, a sign of greater affluence in the city’s suburbs.

Lexington County schools post similar disparities.

Fewer than one in 20 students at District 5’s Chapin High live in poverty, according to the report cards.

Meanwhile, Swansea High, in the Lexington 4 School District, reported a poverty rate of almost 70 percent.

Check the discipline figures

The report cards also delve into discipline, though some districts said Wednesday that they reported errors in the percentage of students expelled or suspended for violent or criminal offenses.

For example, Irmo High School reported 7.7 percent of its students were expelled or suspended, but Lexington-Richland 5 spokesperson Katrina Goggins said that percentage is wrong, including noncriminal offenses. The real percentage is far lower – 0.6 percent, she said.

River Bluff High in Lexington 1 reported a 7.4 percent suspension and expulsion rate for serious offenses. But that figure also is inaccurate, said Mary Beth Hill, a district spokesperson. Accurate figures were not immediately available Wednesday.

Richland 1’s C.A. Johnson High also reported its disciplinary cases in error, district spokesperson Karen York said. The school’s report card says 7.5 percent of the roughly 400 students at the Columbia school were suspended or expelled for violent or criminal offenses. The accurate percentage was 2.8 percent, York said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correctly identify the counties Dutch Fork and Spring Hill high schools reside in. The changes are reflected in the article above and the high-school rankings below.

Richland County high school rankings

Making the grade

Percentage of seniors eligible for state-funded LIFE or Palmetto Fellow Scholarships:

Dutch Fork High (Lexington-Richland 5): 60.6

Dreher High (Richland 1): 38.9

Blythewood High (Richland 2): 38.7

Westwood High (Richland 2): 36

Richland Northeast High (Richland 2): 35.5

Richland 1 Middle College: 34.4

Lower Richland High (Richland 1): 31.3

Spring Hill High (Lexington-Richland 5): 30.2

Eau Claire High (Richland 1): 29.8

A. C. Flora High (Richland 1): 29.7

Spring Valley High (Richland 1): 29.7

Ridge View High (Richland 2): 29.5

C. A. Johnson (Richland 1): 28.9

Columbia High (Richland 1): 26.8

W. J. Keenan (Richland 1): 21.5

Richland 2 Charter High: 0

College bound

High schools ranked by percentage of seniors going on to two- or four-year colleges (in 2016):

Dutch Fork High (Lexington-Richland 5): 91.2

Spring Hill High (Lexington-Richland 5): 86.6

Richland 1 Middle College: 85.3

Ridge View High (Richland 2): 81.3

Dreher High (Richland 1): 79.2

Blythewood High (Richland 2): 78.1

A. C. Flora High (Richland 1): 75.8

Richland Northeast High (Richland 2): 73.4

Spring Valley High (Richland 2): 71.6

Westwood High (Richland 2): 67

Lower Richland (Richland 1): 65.3

W. J. Keenan (Richland 1): 51

Richland 2 Charter High: 45.8

Eau Claire (Richland 1): 39.4

Columbia High (Richland 1): 38.8

C. A. Johnson (Richland 1): 31.1

Poverty

High schools ranked by percentage of students living in poverty:

C. A. Johnson (Richland 1): 96.1

Eau Claire (Richland 1): 91.4

Columbia High (Richland 1): 85.5

W. J. Keenan (Richland 1): 85.1

Lower Richland (Richland 1): 74.9

Richland 1 Middle College: 74.6

Richland Northeast High (Richland 2): 61.2

Richland 2 Charter High: 53.8

Dreher High (Richland 1): 51.8

Westwood High (Richland 2): 51

Ridge View High (Richland 2): 47.7

A. C. Flora High (Richland 1): 41.3

Spring Valley High (Richland 2): 37.9

Dutch Fork High (Lexington-Richland 5): 31.1

Blythewood High (Richland 2): 25.9

Spring Hill High School (Lexington-Richland 5): 21

Teacher quality

Teachers with advanced degrees:

Richland 2 Charter High: 100

Richland 1 Middle College: 83.3

A. C. Flora High (Richland 1): 83.1

Spring Hill High (District 5): 82.4

Eau Claire (Richland 1): 81.3

Spring Valley High (Richland 2): 79.7

Dreher High (Richland 1): 78.3

Dutch Fork High (Lexington-Richland 5): 77.1

Richland Northeast High (Richland 2): 75.8

C. A. Johnson (Richland 1): 75.6

Ridge View High (Richland 2): 74.2

Westwood High (Richland 2): 74.2

Blythewood High (Richland 2): 74.1

W. J. Keenan (Richland 1): 74.1

Columbia High (Richland 1): 73.1

Lower Richland (Richland 1): 68.7

SOURCE: S.C. Department of Education state report cards for schools and school districts

Lexington County high school rankings

Making the grade

High schools ranked by percentage of seniors eligible for state-funded LIFE or Palmetto Fellow Scholarships:

Lexington High (Lexington 1): 80.4

River Bluff High (Lexington 1): 70

White Knoll High (Lexington 1): 61.7

Pelion High (Lexington 1): 61.6

Irmo High (District 5): 56.3

Gilbert High (Lexington 1): 56.2

Chapin High (District 5): 47.3

Brookland-Cayce High (Lexington 2): 34.4

Airport High (Lexington 2): 27.5

Batesburg-Leesville High (Lexington 3): 26

Swansea High (Lexington 4): 24.2

College bound

High schools ranked by percentage of seniors going on to two- or four-year colleges (in 2016):

Lexington High (Lexington 1): 91.1

River Bluff High (Lexington 1): 87.3

Pelion High (Lexington 1): 87.2

Chapin High (District 5): 83.4

White Knoll High (Lexington 1): 83.1

Batesburg-Leesville High (Lexington 3): 79.7

Irmo High (District 5): 65.8

Gilbert High (Lexington 1): 65.1

Airport High (Lexington 2): 60.8

Swansea High (Lexington 4): 48.1

Brookland-Cayce High (Lexington 2): 47.8

Poverty ratings

High schools ranked by percentage of students living in poverty:

Swansea High (Lexington 4): 69.5

Airport High (Lexington 2): 66.5

Pelion High (Lexington 1): 65.2

Batesburg-Leesville High (Lexington 3): 63.6

Irmo High School (District 5): 57.9

Brookland-Cayce High (Lexington 2): 56.4

White Knoll High (Lexington 1): 45.5

Gilbert High (Lexington 1): 45.4

Lexington High School (Lexington 1): 26.1

River Bluff High School (Lexington 1): 23.9

Chapin High School (District 5): 18.1

Teacher quality

High schools ranked by the percentage of teachers with advanced degrees:

Chapin High (District 5): 81.3

Irmo High School (District 5): 75

Batesburg-Leesville High (Lexington 3): 74.4

Lexington High (Lexington 1): 73.4

White Knoll High (Lexington 1): 69.2

Gilbert High (Lexington 1): 67.2

River Bluff High (Lexington 1): 65.9

Airport High (Lexington 2): 64.6

Brookland-Cayce High (Lexington 2): 64.5

Pelion High (Lexington 1): 62.5

Swansea High (Lexington 4): 52.8

SOURCE: S.C. Department of Education state report cards for schools and school districts

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