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Revised calculations ensure AYP
Summer testing at high school level boosts scores
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As it turns out, the Dawson County school system made adequate yearly progress after all.

The status change, announced last week, is a result of revised state calculations originally issued in July.

Initially, Dawson County High and Riverview Elementary and Middle schools failed to meet the goals as set in accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Their apparent failure to do so had affected the entire system.

The Nov. 2 announcement, however, reflects a different outcome.

The updated results show a higher percentage of high school students meeting or exceeding requirements following re-testing and summer testing.

Those improvements resulted in Dawson County High meeting AYP for 2011, which led to the school system's overall achievement.

"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."

Dawson is one of just 49 of the state's 194 school systems that made adequate yearly progress for 2011.

The distinction is determined by several factors, including school attendance, systemwide performance of subgroups and specific performance of those subgroups.

Performance is determined primarily through required statewide tests. For elementary and middle schools, that's the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, or CRCT. For high school, it's the graduation test.

"As we look to the future, there is an ongoing effort to reauthorize 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 is the ninth straight year the local system 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," Porter 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.