The project, Minimally Adequate, is the result of an eight-month investigation into South Carolina's troubled education system, which ranks among the nation's worst.
A team of five reporters interviewed more than 200 educators, students, parents, business leaders, politicians and academics to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing South Carolina’s public school system and the historical events that led our state to this point.
Members of the team traveled extensively throughout the Palmetto State to visit school districts large and small. They also reviewed dozens of reports, studies, historical manuscripts and books chronicling the plight of South Carolina schools. And they examined efforts underway here and around the country to address critical issues surrounding education and effect change.
This five-part series is a result of those efforts.
Divided by race, mired in inequities and hobbled by its history, South Carolina’s public school system is among the worst in the nation, saddled with a legacy of apathy and low expectations that threatens the state’s newfound prosperity.
No accident of history
From slavery through Jim Crow to white flight, South Carolina has never prioritized educating black children. Even today, after decades of resisting integration, de facto segregation is prevalent and growing worse.
A pipeline of failure
Thousands of students pass through South Carolina's struggling school districts each year — and most will leave without the skills required for most jobs in today's economy.
Crisis of our own making
Lawmakers insist they are committed to fixing the state’s beleaguered public school system — yet they shortchange even the minimum funding requirements spelled out in state law.
A call to action
Repairing South Carolina's schools will take a big-picture approach with comprehensive strategies that challenge the way we approach education.