Our opinion: Sumter Schools’ test scores on the rise

Published 10:11 pm Friday, November 2, 2018

Sumter County Schools has experienced a jump in its CCRPI test scores, and it’s worth celebrating in our opinion.
For far too long, we hear people talk about how “poor” the public school system is and how nothing ever improves. They can no longer utter negative comments like that.
Under the leadership of Superintendent Torrance Choates, and the Sumter County Board of Education, system-wide test scores have grown from 59.6 to 70.9.
Not only strengthening curriculum, Choates has worked with administrators and school leadership in the areas of discipline through strong policies, and also accountability. He has made some changes in school leadership as well, some of which have not been received well by the public, but have all helped to increase learning and test scores. He has his teachers working to strengthen parental engagement which can make the difference between student success and failure.
Consistency is important to Choates, and subsequently to his school-level leadership staff. Studies have shown that students appreciate consistency as well, especially in the area of discipline.
Of the 14 school systems in the RESA area, Sumter County Schools ranks third in test scores, ranking one above Schley County Schools.
We congratulate Sumter County Schools on this achievement. We are proud to have the strong leadership skills of Choates, as well as the dedication of the board of education members. We also applaud the administrators and school-level leadership in supporting Choates’ vision to make more learning possible in our public school system.
We see great things on the horizon for Sumter County Schools.
We all, as a community, need to get behind our public school system and support their efforts and celebrate their successes. We need to be positive and encouraging.
Who knows what we can achieve if we all work together?