The Low Country Education Consortium (LCEC) is comprised of four districts along coastal South Carolina in the Charleston Metro Region. These four districts collaborate in a networked improvement community (NIC) to measure the knowledge, skills and dispositions students will need to be college and career ready through a locally designed regional accountability system. This consortium has the support of the South Carolina State Department of Education and the South Carolina Oversight Committee as well as the Metro Area Chamber of Commerce and the local philanthropic community
The work has been undergirded by two key pieces of work spearheaded by the Charleston Metro Chamber. A Talent Demand Study was published by the Metro Chamber as a strategy for economic diversification in the Charleston region.
By partnering with local districts and higher education the region has been able to aggressively ramp up the resources needed to train local residents in high-demand skills to help fill the jobs. The partnership between the consortium districts, the Metro Chamber, and local employers has resulted in helping school systems identify the types of skills employers are seeking. As a result local educators can better understand and respond to employers’ needs.
Additionally, in December 2016 the four Low Country Education Consortium districts requested that the Metro Chamber to lead the work of identifying a set of career readiness standards/ competencies to the fastest growing, high-demand job sectors in the region. The result was the publication of the Common Skills in High Demand report that details the competencies necessary for the region’s high school students to be career ready.
The goal of the LCEC is to collaborate to embed these identified competencies into the K-12 curriculum in the region’s school for improved student outcomes with an emphasis on the following:
- Percentage of students meeting or exceeding grade-level readiness expectations in reading and mathematics;
- Percentage of students growing academically by at least one full year from the prior spring based on grade-level readiness expectations in reading and math; and
- Percentage of students meeting college and career readiness expectation levels in reading, mathematics, workplace skills, and on-time graduation as the exit elementary, middle, and high school levels.
The consortium districts are building PK-12 College and Career Pathways based on achievement and growth in reading (Lexiles) and mathematics (Quantiles). Progress reports that inform parents where students are on the readiness trajectory will be built out in relation to the College and Career Pathways. This regional accountability system will develop measures to assess progress in the workplace skills employers’ in the Metro Region desire. This work is aligned to the Profile of a South Carolina Graduate