ACT WorkKeys

SDPC Students Rank High on Career Readiness

ACT-WorkKeys-logo-color91.8 percent of Pickens County 11th graders earned a National Career Readiness Certificate after taking the ACT WorkKeys assessment in 2015. Their performance outpaces the statewide average of 87.9 percent. 2015 was the first year the test was required for all students who were in their third year of high school.

"This is a strong starting point for us, and it sends a clear message that Pickens County students are ready to enter the workforce," said Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC Superintendent.

The ACT WorkKeys measures career-readiness by testing students on three areas: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information. Students earn three levels of certificates depending on their score on the test: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

"We are most focused on how many students score Silver and above, and Silver is really the level we expect our 11th grade students to be able to achieve. When students have the knowledge needed to earn that score, it means they have the skills needed to perform a wide range of jobs available right now." said Sharon Huff, SDPC's Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. "Fortunately, our percentage of students who scored Silver and above has started out strong."

70.7 percent of SDPC students scored Silver or above on the test, good for 8th highest among all districts in South Carolina, and first among all county-wide districts. "Our goal is to be in the top five districts academically," Merck said. "On WorkKeys, we're measuring ourselves by whether we are top five in the Silver and above category." Because students must reach the required score on all three portions of the test, Huff said she sees an opportunity for scores to improve quickly. "A lot of students were right on the bubble between Bronze and Silver on the Locating Information component of the test. It's encouraging to know that many of our students can move into the Silver category by focusing on that area."

 Among the four high schools in Pickens County, Liberty High School performed the strongest on WorkKeys, with 94.3 percent of students earning a National Career Readiness Certificate, and 75.4 percent of students scoring Silver and above.

School-by-school results are included in the chart below.

Certificate Bronze Silver Gold Platinum Silver and Above
District 91.8 21.1 41.8 27.8 1.1 70.7
State 87.9 25.1 40 22.1 0.8 62.9
Daniel 91.1 17 32.8 39.1 2.2 74.1
Easley 92.4 24.9 39.8 26.5 1.1 67.4
Liberty 94.3 19 55.1 20.3 0 75.4
Pickens 90.3 20.6 45.5 23.7 0.6 69.8