Half of Charleston County’s high schools face a daunting challenge in educating the new crop of freshmen they will welcome this fall.
Twenty percent of their ninth-graders won’t be able to read better than a fourth-grader, but those students will be expected to learn and perform at a high-school level. Many of these teenagers likely will struggle to simply read the words on their teachers’ SmartBoards, much less understand and analyze the information being conveyed.
The Charleston County School Board recognized the severity of this problem last year by declaring literacy its top priority. Their decision followed a series of Post and Courier stories that revealed nearly 20 percent of the county’s ninth-graders read on a fourth-grade level or worse.