South Carolina typically falls into the bottom 20% of states in terms of public school assessment scores and graduation rates (although ACT scores did go up last year). While this is cause for concern, the situation isn’t all bad: there are plenty of public school districts in the state that meet or exceed national standards. Let’s look at South Carolina’s five best school districts.
The best school district in South Carolina is Spartanburg County School District One, which is based in Campobello and consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and a career center. The district’s graduation rate of 94% is over ten points higher than the statewide rate, and over 50% of district students are proficient in math.
Spartanburg School District Seven is South Carolina’s 2nd best school district. District 7 consists of eleven schools with an average total enrollment of around 7,400. Despite the fact that the district has a poverty index of almost 70%, its schools are characterized by high academic performance, and its Spartanburg High School is the first school in the nation to win the National Blue Ribbon School award four times.
Placing 3rd is Chesterfield County School District, another large system of sixteen schools and an enrollment nearing 7,200. The district regularly posts a graduation rate well above state and national averages.
Earning the 4th spot is York School District 1, an AdvancED-accredited district consisting of ten schools serving 5,249 students in York County. District schools have claimed a number of recent achievements, with two winning Palmetto Silver Awards and one winning a Palmetto Gold Award for 2018-2019.
Completing the list of South Carolina’s five best school districts is Anderson School District 4, consisting of six schools in Pendleton and Townville. The district’s Pendleton High regularly earns a rating of “Excellent” on the annual State Report Card and consistently posts above-average graduation rates.
Top School Districts in South Carolina, 2020
|8||Anderson 02||Honea Path|
|20||Greenwood 52||Ninety Six|
|23||Calhoun 01||St. Matthews|
|27||Dorchester 04||St. George|
|30||Florence 03||Lake City|
|39||Orangeburg 03||Holly Hill|
|40||Greenwood 51||Ware Shoals|
The following variables contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, school funding per student, student to teacher ratio, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Math test, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Reading and Language test. Data from a total of 10,247 public school districts were used to compute a score for each school district. The following states were omitted due to lack of sufficient data: Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, and Virginia. Note that high schools in some states have their own independent districts.