Educators in Dorchester County redefine the finish line for grad - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Educators in Dorchester County redefine the finish line for graduates

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Educators in Dorchester County said they're redefining the finish line for graduating students following data that shows most students aren't college ready.

Educators at Dorchester School District 2 tell News 2, the problems are students aren't work ready; they need remediation at technical schools; and in college they're struggling academically despite receiving the necessary credits to graduate from high school.

"We've got to get on the ball," Dr. Sean Alford said. "When we recognize these thing we take a hard look in the mirror, adjust our processes, and then set the target."

Right now students are assessed through different standardized tests at periodic grade levels.

That data can't be compared from year to year, and recently educators found it's not an indicator of graduation readiness.

This year, the school district won approval from the state to overhaul testing measures. Since it's a pilot program, there's no additional charge for the school district to use the ACT Suite.

The school district will pilot the ACT testing system. The test is tailored to each grade level starting in the third grade. Educators will be able to monitor students' progress and pitfalls from elementary school to graduation. 

"Teachers are able to get the data back much faster," Dr. Alford explained.  "They're able to utilize it to form instruction and serve students in their individual needs."

That ACT testing program also comes with a work readiness training component and certification program called Work Keys.

"That Work Keys assessment is a nationally portable certificate. It's one that national and local businesses accept as a bench mark for performance," Dr. Alford said.

The school district still needs approval from the federal government to implement the new program. Once implemented, Joe Pye, Superintendent, said he believes DD2 will be the model for schools across the country.

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