Darlington County Schools graduation rate first in SC

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – The South Carolina Department of Education released its yearly report card for schools on Tuesday. Officials with Darlington County Schools said they are pleased with the report card, which ranks the district first in graduation rate.

“You’re always pleased when you rank number one in anything,” said Darlington County Schools Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram said. He was very encouraged by the results.

According to SC Department of Education data, the state graduation rate in 2016 was 82.6%. Darlington County students graduated at a rate of 94.5%, up more than two percentage points in just the last year.

Mayo High School for Math, Science, and Technology led the pack, boasting a 100% graduation rate. Lamar High wasn’t far behind, graduating 98.3% of its students. Darlington High School graduated 95.1%.

Earlier this week, the Darlington County School board was concerned about below-average test scores. Ingram said it’s tough for teachers to keep up with constantly changing standards, but for now it’s time to start ensuring students have everything they need to succeed after they get their diplomas.

“What are kids doing four, five, six years after they leave schools,” asked Ingram. “I think that’s probably a more indicative indicator of how well we do.”

Ingram said technology and social networking is more important than ever to making sure students get connected with post-grad opportunities as early as possible.

“Manufacturers, companies, colleges, universities, tech schools, military, they can actually network kids from all over the country,” Ingram explained.

The school district is also working to expand its use of the Transform S-C Initiative — a statewide collaboration of business leaders, policy makers, and educators working to get students ready for life after graduation in a global marketplace.

“Darlington County now has two schools that are designated as Transform SC schools,” said Ingram. “More of our schools are working to that end.”

Ingram said that while he’s excited to be number one, he knows there’s still a lot of work to be done to prepare Darlington County students for an increasingly global society.