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rural schools

They don’t call it the “Corridor of Shame” for nothing … and all the taxpayer money in the world hasn’t done a damn thing to change it.

Despite dozens of new programs and billions of dollars in funding increases over the last decade, South Carolina’s rural school districts are continuing to fail students at a record clip – the latest atrocious indicator in what is shaping up to be one of the worst years on record for public schools in the Palmetto State.

Indeed, South Carolina has the highest rural dropout rate in the entire nation according to a new report from a national non-profit organization that’s focused on raising academic achievement in rural areas.

The report, entitled “Why Rural Matters,” was published last week by the Rural School and Community Trust.  Predictably, not a single mainstream media outlet in South Carolina picked up on the report’s findings – which is almost as pathetic as the academic results the report uncovered.

“Just over half of the state’s rural students graduate from high school, a lower rate than all other states,” the report concludes. “NAEP and NCLB scores are equally alarming, near the bottom on all four indicators.”

The report also found that “spending on instruction in rural districts is very low,” reinforcing previous data showing that less than half of every dollar spent on “education” in South Carolina actually makes it into the classroom

The results mark the latest in a string of setbacks for South Carolina’s education establishment this year.

Last month, educrats were busted trying to dumb down South Carolina’s academic standards – which it’s obvious at this point would have to be considered quite a feat.

Next up, South Carolina’s so-called “budget cuts” – which had been blamed by Superintendent Jim Rex and others for poor academic performance – were revealed to be utter and complete fiction based on data published by the S.C. Office of Research and Statistics.

Those numbers showed that in the midst of the worst economic year since the Great Depression, South Carolina public schools spent more than $12,000 per pupil – a record amount.

Finally, prior to the rural graduation data being released, a report published two weeks ago showed that South Carolina’s overall graduation rate remains among the worst in the nation – which is consistent with our state’s declining SAT and ACT scores.

WEB EXTRA

“Why Rural Matters 2009” Report – South Carolina fact sheet