SC EOC: Education progress stagnant, change needed

      A panel of state leaders says South Carolina's education system needs dramatic improvement to successfully compete economically.

      The message came Monday from the Education Oversight Committee's report titled "A Wake-Up Call for South Carolina."

      It shows the state is falling behind on its benchmarks and won't meet the group's 2020 goals.

      The 18-member committee of business, legislative and education leaders is tasked with evaluating the state's progress toward meeting accountability goals. It re-set the goals two years ago after legislators revamped the state's end-of-school-year tests.

      A key indicator of success is reading ability. Last year, results on nationally standardized tests showed nearly 40 percent of fourth-graders and 30 percent of eighth-graders could not read on grade level.

      Other goals not met are in graduation rates, workforce readiness and failing schools.