"If you don't create interventions at the primary levels, you're never going to resolve the issue of failing children in older grades," said Maryellen Ham, University of South Carolina and Jasper County School District partnership director.
One of those interventions includes engaging parents in the learning process.
Parents need to know what they can do to promote their child's learning outside of the classroom, Ham
"The positive thing is, many young parents are eager to know how to intervene at home," she
"The success of our school reform efforts in Jasper County cannot be answered without a much more comprehensive data system," Ham
Demographics, attendance and dropout/graduation rates, facilities, teacher retention, current teaching practices, community needs and business partnerships all need to be considered, she
Although PACT test scores have improved in the past four years in Jasper County, there is still a long way to go, Ham
For example in 1999, 39 percent of third-graders met basic or above basic standards in English and language arts for their grade level.
In 2003, that number rose to about 58 percent.
That still leaves more than 40 percent of third-graders testing below basic and not meeting the standards for their grade level in that subject, Ham