180 Days

Monday, September 28 on WJCT 7.4 from 10pm -12pm



As our society has become more divided economically, and more complex socially and technologically, the system of education that seemed to hold us in good stead for many decades has begun to unravel. Today’s schools need to prepare more complex populations of students from more challenging circumstances for a more global world. Educators, representing both rural and urban schools, are working to improve school outcomes including low high school graduation rates especially among young men of color. Since workplace realities now make a college education the necessity for a middle class life, increasing graduation rates is imperative.

What can we learn from Hartsville – and can these lessons help to transform other schools and school districts in America? Given both a challenge, and the resources to meet it, from a local major employer seeking to grow a viable workforce and community, the town of Hartsville agreed to be a testing ground for systemic education reform based on the work of James Comer, Ph.D. The goal is for Hartsville students’ test scores to be in the top quartile in South Carolina in five years, and to be in the top quartile nationally in ten years.180 Days: Hartsville introduces the key players and documents the one-year progress of two elementary schools and their principals toward achieving these goals – on the way to a high school graduation rate of 100 per cent. While the kinds of coalitions shown in the film may be common in more affluent areas, the story of Hartsville illustrates similar opportunities in rural and less advantaged communities. Lessons learned can spark discussions about how local communities can work together to take action and effect change.


What Does Quality Education Look Like?

WJCT and JPEF visited West Jacksonville Elementary to discover what quality instruction looks like.

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Download the 180 Days Guide

Are you a parent or educator looking to understand the issues? Download our action guide.

Learn More >


Watch Video Extras from Hartsville

Check out video extras from the new 180 Days series.

Watch Now >


Get Involved Locally

Take a closer look at what our local Jacksonville community is doing to further education.

Click Here >


What does it really take to be a teacher in a typical American classroom? Take the 180 Days challenge.

Nothing matters more to the long-term success of our country than the quality of our public school system. We are pleased to release the 180 Days Game, an interactive experience that was designed in conjunction with the “180 Days: Hartsville” documentary, to help more people accurately understand the state of public education today and the challenges and opportunities that come with trying to support the holistic development of children.

Choose a user, accept the challenge, and see how you do. The future of the country is in your hands.

Game users can play as a teacher, principal or parent.

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Watch The 180 Days: Hartsville Teaser

The elementary school system in Hartsville, SC deals with the changing times.



180 Days: Hartsville Community Engagement grants are funded by Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, South Carolina ETV, and the National Black Programming Consortium with additional funding by South Carolina Educational Communications, Inc. and Wyncote Foundation.