R2, Fairfield SC Ready scores released

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County and Blythewood area schools generally saw improvement on the 2022 SC Ready exams, according to the S.C. Department of Education.

However, Fairfield students failed to outperform the state averages, with the district trailing by double-digit percentage points in some grade levels, data shows.

SC Ready scores, which measure readiness in English-Language Arts and Math for students in grades 3-8, were made public Sept. 6. 

Fairfield sees modest gains

In most grade levels, Fairfield saw more students meet or exceed expectations in English and Math compared to last year’s results, while fewer students failed to meet expectations.

The most dramatic gains came among fifth graders.

In fifth grade English, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations climbed 25.3 percentage points, while the number not meeting expectations plunged by the same amount.

In Math, Fairfield fifth graders meeting or exceeding expectations rose 12.2 percentage points while students not meeting or approaching expectations fell 12.1 percentage points.

While the district gained, Fairfield still lags considerably behind the state, Department of Education data shows.

In English-Language Arts, Fairfield students not meeting expectations bested the state by at least 9 percentage points in Grades 3, 4, 7, and 8. Grade 3 had the highest percentage not meeting expectations at 41.3%.

In Math, more than 40% of Fairfield students didn’t meet expectations in Grades 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8. Over 58% of Fairfield eighth graders didn’t meet expectations while only 6.5% met expectations and 5.8% exceeded expectations. 

On Tuesday night, Fairfield’s positioning relative to the state wasn’t discussed directly.

Instead, school officials offered common refrains, ranging from the pandemic to perceived flaws in standardized testing.

Board member Sylvia Harrison said Fairfield performed well despite still facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a struggle. We’re still in a pandemic and they’re doing very well,” Harrison said. “It’s a difficult time and I don’t know when we’re going to get out of it.”

Dr. Claudia Avery, deputy superintendent for academics, also invoked the pandemic.

“We are pleased with the success of our students as were bound from the pandemic,” Avery said.

District Superintendent Dr. J.R. Green repeated previous arguments he’s made that standardized testing is subjective and designed to create winners and losers.

“I view these assessments with a grain of salt,” Green said. “You’re always going to have a few people do very well, a few people do poorly, and maybe some people in the middle.”

Blythewood area scores

The Center for Knowledge North (CFKN)  at Muller Road led Blythewood area elementary schools with 82.1% of students meeting or exceeding expectations in English-Language Arts, besting the state average by over 33 percentage points.

The center also scored high in Math, with 86.1% meeting or exceeding expectations.

Additionally, 100% of CFKN fifth graders approached, met or exceeded expectations in both Math and English-Language Arts.

Round Top and Bethel Hanberry elementary schools also bested state averages.

At Round Top Elementary, 65.9% in English-Language Arts and 63.7% in Math met or exceeded expectations.

Nearly 60 percent of Bethel Hanberry students met or exceeded expectations in both assessments.

Sandlapper Elementary bested the state average in English-Language Arts with 51.4% meeting or exceeding expectations, but fell short in Math (41.8%).

Among middle schools, Blythewood Middle reported 59.4% (English-Language Arts) and 49.6% (Math) besting the state averages of 44.7% and 32.2%, respectively.

Muller Road Middle also exceeded state averages of students. Fifty-three (53) percent met or exceeded expectations in English-Language Arts while 36.4% did so in Math.

Kelly Mill Middle exceeded the state in English-Language Arts (47%), but trailed in Math (29%).

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]