Taking Root - South Carolina's Lessons for Sustaining the College- and Career-Ready Agenda

Monday, September 7, 2009

To give states the information they need to sustain hard-fought education reform effectively, Achieve, funded by the GE Foundation, conducted research on state education reforms that have been sustained successfully for over a decade or more. The South Carolina EIA story is often cited as one of the strongest examples of a successful campaign to adopt, implement and sustain a comprehensive education policy agenda. This case study seeks to describe the processes and decisions that allowed for such a successful adoption and implementation, as well as identify lessons other states may use when crafting and putting a major policy agenda into place to ensure the agenda is sustained over time. What did South Carolina do? Who was involved? How did they make it happen? While South Carolina is still struggling to raise achievement and attainment today, this should not detract from the important lessons we can learn from the deliberate and far-reaching steps South Carolina took in the 1980s to ensure the EIA was sustained successfully for well over a decade.