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All York County schools at or above state scores on PACT

School districts in York County generally had something to smile about when the results of the dreaded 2006 PACT test were made public at 10 a.m. today.

All four York County districts met or exceeded statewide score results, and Fort Mill schools scored 10 points higher than the state standard in every subject and at every grade level. Clover was not far behind with an average of about 85 percent meeting standards in most subjects and grade levels, and Rock Hill and York held their own well compared to statewide scores.

In Chester County, a rural county where students and their families often struggle with lower incomes, scores basically remained level or made small improvements over previous years, but did not achieve statewide score levels.

PACT — the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test — is a standardized test given each spring to South Carolina’s students in grades 3 through 8. Students who “Met Standards” achieved scores that met the state’s Basic, Proficient or Advanced levels for that subject and grade area. Students who scored Below Basic did not meet the state’s minimum standards.

Students were tested in four subjects: English/Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Science and Social Studies joined English and Math on the test in the past few years, and scores in those areas have made progress, but still are lower across the board than the traditional English and Math. Social Studies fared better than Science both locally and statewide.

Math scores have climbed steadily in recent years, but this year’s results posted higher scores, generally, in English than in Math. Some educators attribute it in part to “test fatigue.” Children take the PACT test over a period of days, and the subject tested first tends to bring the best results. English/Language Arts was tested first this past spring.