Say what you will about the schools in South Carolina. Underfunded, underperforming, under fill in the blank? While improvements have been noted, the state as a whole is a far cry from the model of reform and excellence imagined by Arne Duncan and the politicians who profess to know better than we educators.
In a recent report from NEA ranking states, South Carlina teachers' salaries ranked 38th.
In terms of the Science and Engineering Readiness Index (SERI), SC students ranked 40th in the country (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/state-education-rankins-_n_894528.html?
Rankings from the 17th annual report card posted by the American Legislative Exchange Council placed South Carolina as the worst performing state in the country.
With all that said, it makes what is happening in Horry County, South Carolina even more impressive. Last night, the board of education approved a 2.2 million dollar "personalized digital learning initiative" as part of thier technology plan to put digital devices in the hands of each of their K-12 students, update existing technology and build their wireless infrastructure. You can read the piece in the local Myrtle Beach paper.
Of particular note in Horry County is the work going on under the leadership of Judy Beard with the support of Beth Havens at Whittemore Park Middle School in Conway. Whittemore Park received a Next Generation grant and is working collaboratively with the leaderhip team assembled by Dr. Cindy Ellsberry to implement truly innovative technology programs. You can read about their grant award here: