Dawson County vs. state scores
• Reading: 92.4 (Dawson), 90.9 (state)
• English/language arts: 91 (Dawson), 89.1 (state)
• Math: 79.8 (Dawson), 81.2 (state)
• Science: 85.5 (Dawson), 80.5 (state)
• Social studies: 84.7 (Dawson), 81 (state)
• Reading: 95.2 (Dawson), 87.9 (state)
• English/language arts: 92.9 (Dawson), 88 (state)
• Math: 86.9 (Dawson), 81.1 (state)
• Science: 89.1 (Dawson), 79 (state)
• Social studies: 87 (Dawson), 77.4 (state)
• Reading: 95.6 (Dawson), 90.5 (state)
• English/language arts: 96.8 (Dawson), 93 (state)
• Math: 87.6 (Dawson), 86.6 (state)
• Science: 88.6 (Dawson), 76.6 (state)
• Social studies: 80 (Dawson), 71.3 (state)
• Reading: 94.5 (Dawson), 93.9 (state)
• English/language arts: 90.7 (Dawson), 91.2 (state)
• Math: 80.4 (Dawson), 76.4 (state)
• Science: 80.1 (Dawson), 70.9 (state)
• Social studies: 84.8 (Dawson), 71.6 (state)
• Reading: 95.6 (Dawson), 90.9 (state)
• English/language arts: 91.9 (Dawson), 93.1 (state)
• Math: 87.1 (Dawson), 89.4 (state)
• Science: 82.5 (Dawson), 82.2 (state)
• Social studies: 73.2 (Dawson), 74.9 (state)
• Reading: 98.5 (Dawson), 96 (state)
• English/language arts: 95.6 (Dawson), 92.8 (state)
• Math: 81.5 (Dawson), 77.7 (state)
• Science: 85.8 (Dawson), 67.1 (state)
• Social studies: 89.8 (Dawson), 72.5 (state)
Source: State board of education
Dawson County students as a whole exceeded the state average on the Criterion-Referenced-Competency Test, according to preliminary systemwide scores released last week.
"The scores were outstanding," said Superintendent Keith Porter. "Our students and teachers did a great job for us again this year."
In some cases, test scores could determine whether a student moves on to the next grade.
Rick Brown, the school system's assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said each case is handled on an individual basis and includes additional feedback, including teacher recommendations.
"Basically, we look at the student as a whole," he said.
The test is also one of the factors used to determine if a school has made adequate yearly progress, or AYP, under the federal No Child Left Behind act.
Schools not making AYP could face consequences, including having the state step in to run individual schools.
The test covered reading, English, language arts, math, science and social studies.
Local fourth-, fifth- and eighth-graders exceeded the state's average in each of the five areas, while third-graders fell just shy of the state average in math.
Sixth-graders were also slightly below the state average in English.
According to the report, local seventh-graders scored lower than the state's average in English, math and social studies.
"Systemwide, math has been an area of concern, as it has been for the entire state of Georgia," Porter said. "We base our curriculum on results of these tests to address the needs."
Porter said the lower scores could also indicate an inconsistent level of difficulty across the testing board.
"We always say our goal is for Dawson County to exceed the state level, but sometimes we do fall below," he said. "And that shows us where we may need to intervene and make improvements."
Brown said each school in the system has measures to help students improve on standardized tests.
Those include afterschool programs at the elementary level and time built into the daily class schedule for additional instruction.