Only 54% of Hispanic and African American students in South Carolina graduate from high school, and more rural “dropout factories” exist here than in any other state in the country.
In Teach For America’s second year in the region, we are already working with communities to improve education for over 7,000 students in low-income communities.
About South Carolina
South Carolina is known for its natural beauty and rich culture. Unfortunately, the state is also known for something else: one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. A John Hopkins University study found that South Carolina had more rural schools on its list of “dropout factories” than any other state in the nation.
Many of the schools where we place corps members are located in the “Corridor of Shame,” a stretch of small, rural communities along Interstate 95 where schools operate with inadequate facilities and have some of the lowest student achievement rates in the state. We’re also placing teachers in some of the highest-need schools in Charleston County in the fall of 2012. Students growing up in low-income communities here rarely have the chance to fulfill their potential.
The opportunities for education reform in the state are tremendous, and our 2012 corps members are stepping into the region at an especially exciting time of growth and expansion. Teach For America came to South Carolina in 2011 with 30 charter corps members and 60 alumni working in the state in education and other sectors. A year later, we’ve already grown to over 100 corps members. The districts in the state are hungry for improvements in education, and we expect to see the size of our corps, and the number of students we are impacting, continue to grow in the coming years.
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As a Charlotte corps member, he led his seventh and eighth graders to improve more than 1.5 grade levels in reading each year, and 60% of them gained admission to a selective magnet high school program. After the corps, Josh worked as a Teach For America recruitment director at the University of Georgia and Clemson University. He feels lucky that we now offer our nation’s next generation of leaders the opportunity to make an impact on South Carolina’s students.