- St. James High School
HCS Continues to Improve On 2022-2023 End-Of-Course Exams and Shows Career Readiness
The South Carolina Department of Education released statewide public school results for the 2022-2023 administration for the End of Course Examination Program (EOCEP), which measures achievement in core high school courses. Horry County Schools outperformed the state on all assessments and reported gains in the percentages of students scoring at the highest levels.
The EOCEP provides tests in the gateway courses of Algebra I, Biology I, English II, and U.S. History and Constitution. Results are used in the calculation of state accountability ratings for high schools. To meet federal accountability requirements, End-of-Course tests must be administered to all public high school students, including students with disabilities and multilingual learners, by the third year of high school. Middle school students taking more rigorous courses may take Algebra I as early as seventh grade.
Newly released results show the district’s mean scale scores surpassed the state on all four End-of-Course tests, with gains reported in three of the four tests over the previous year’s average.
In Algebra I, 81.4% of district students passed the exam, three percentage points higher than last year’s scores and one point below pre-pandemic performance. The state’s average passage rate in Algebra I is 68.5%.
In Biology I, 69.3% of district students passed the exam, compared to the state passage rate of 59.2%. In 2022-2023, HCS’s student passing rate increased roughly one percentage point over 2021-2022 scores.
In English II, HCS students posted an 87.1% passage rate. The state passage rate for the English II test is 84.1%.
In U.S. History and Constitution, district students had a passage rate of 73.5%, an increase of roughly four percentage points compared to 2021-2022. The state’s passage rate was 60.9%.
HCS Students Show Career Readiness
The South Carolina Career Ready Test is a career readiness test administered to all third-year high school students. Students are assessed in four areas: soft skills and three employability skills (math, reading, and data). Together, the four assessments measure the most common transferable skills that employers nationwide have defined as foundational for career readiness.
The three employability skills assessments are assigned a scale score and an achievement level score from 1 to 5 based on the U.S. Department of Labor O*NET Job Zones. Credentials are issued for students who score at achievement levels 2-5. A student must score a level 3 or higher to be considered career-ready. Level 3 careers typically require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate degree; level 4 careers typically require a four-year bachelor’s degree; level 5 careers typically require graduate school.
Of the 3,658 Horry County students who completed all three assessments during the 2022-2023 school year, 2,773 (75.8%) received a credential, with 58% designated as Career-Ready based on scoring a Level 3 or higher. Statewide, only 71.6% of students received a credential, with 52% earning achievement level 3 or higher.
On the specific subject tests, Horry County students consistently scored better than the state as well. On the math assessment, 65.4% of Horry County students scored at level 3 or higher, compared to the state’s 59.7%. On the data test, 73.3% of our students scored at level 3 or higher, while the state’s level 3 and higher rate was 68.5%. On the reading test, 74.2% of HCS students scored at level 3 or higher. The state’s reading test scores were 72% at level 3 or higher.