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School system makes AYP after all

Summer testing at high school level boosts scores

POSTED: November 2, 2011 4:03 p.m.

After receiving initial word that the local school district failed to meet state standards, results released today show the Dawson County School System made adequate yearly progress, or AYP, after all.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind standards, Dawson County High School, Riverview Elementary and Riverview Middle School individually failed to meet the state test requirements over the summer. The schools' apparent failure to do so had affected the entire system.

Today's announcement changed that outcome.

The final results now show a higher percentage of high school students meeting or exceeding requirements following re-testing and summer testing, which has resulted in Dawson County High School meeting AYP for 2011, which led to the school system's overall achievement of AYP.

"We are very pleased that we have made Adequate Yearly Progress once again," said Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter. "We are extremely proud of the efforts of all our schools. Dawson County High School is one of only 41 percent of all high schools in Georgia to have met the requirements."

Adequate yearly progress is determined by several factors, including school attendance, system-wide performance of specific subgroups and specific performance of those subgroups.

"As we look to the future, there is an ongoing effort to re-authorize the No Child Left Behind legislation, and we are hopeful that a more balanced and fair method of charting progress will be a result," Porter said. "The achievement bar is set so very high for this school year that the projections indicate the vast majority of systems will not meet the requirements."

This will be the ninth straight year the system as a whole has made the mark.

"We knew that we were very close to meeting the requirements during the school year, but we were even more confident after the summer retest results were returned," he said. "The continued success of our system is due in large part to our great students as well as the outstanding instruction and support that they receive from our faculty and staff.

Systems that fail to achieve the standard for two straight years are designated as "needs improvement."

AYP is based primarily on student achievement on required statewide tests.

For elementary and middle schools, the exam is the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, or CRCT. For high school, it is the graduation test.

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