Teacher Katie Boliver works with Aaron Osorio, Ulices Moreno and Edgar Bautista, from left, in art class at Park Creek Elementary in Dalton, Ga. Although the school has a high percentage of low-income students, it is one of the highest performing schools in the district.Photo by John Rawlston.
State education officials said students in Georgia's elementary and middle schools improved on most of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests -- or CRCTs -- taken this year.
The state Department of Education released statewide results of the 2013 standardized tests on Tuesday.
Agency officials said the results show a one-year improvement in the percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards on 18 of the 30 content-area tests, no change on seven tests and decreases on five tests.
Also, students saw increases in the "exceeds performance" rating on 24 of the 30 content areas.
The CRCT is given each year to students in grades 3 through 8. It covers five subject areas -- reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies.
The percentage of students exceeding the state standard rose 10 percentage points in fifth-grade math, from 2012 to 2013, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
This year's seventh-graders performed better than last year's group in reading, where there was a 7 percentage point increase in the percentage of students who exceeded the state standard. And among eighth-graders, the percentage of students who exceeded the standard in math rose 5 percentage points from 2012 to 2013.
Denia Reese, superintendent of Catoosa County Public Schools, said her system exceeded state standards in 27 of the 30 areas.
"I am pleased with our results because it shows that our teachers and students continue to work hard to meet and exceed state standards," she said in a prepared statement.
However, performance statewide declined in some areas.
The percentage of third-graders who met or exceeded the state standard in math fell 3 percentage points. Seventh-grade math saw a 1 percentage point drop, as did fourth-grade English/language arts and eighth-grade English/language arts.
"Our results this year on the CRCT show consistent progress, and we continue to see many students scoring in the exceeds category," state Superintendent John Barge said in a statement. "This is a testament to the great work our teachers are doing to take students to higher levels of learning."
State officials said school-level CRCT results will be available no later than July 10.
CRCT scores were a key factor in determining whether schools or districts succeeded in making adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind performance system.
Repeatedly failing to make AYP could eventually result in the firing of teachers and principals.
Staff writer Lindsay Burkholder contributed to this story.