State education officials say students in Georgia's elementary and middle schools improved on most of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests taken this year.
Bulloch County reflected the statewide trend, the results show.
The state Department of Education released preliminary statewide results of the 2013 standardized tests, at the state and district levels, on Tuesday. School-level results will be available by July 10, the department said in a news release.
These results include all first-time test takers, even those whose scores later might not be counted when the results are finalized as part of the state's new accountability system, known as the College and Career Ready Performance Index. They also do not factor in students who retook the tests in the summer after failing on the first try.
"Our results this year on the CRCT show consistent progress and we continue to see many students scoring in the exceeds category," State School Superintendent Dr. 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."
According to a Statesboro Herald analysis of the preliminary CRCT data, Georgia students posted higher pass rates in 23 of the 30 CRCT test areas in 2013 compared to 2012. In Bulloch County, the pass rates rose in 16 of the content areas during the same period.
The CRCT is given each year to students in third through eighth grades. It covers five subject areas -- reading, English language arts, math, science and social studies.
In Bulloch County, fifth- and sixth-graders posted higher pass rates in 2013 in every subject area compared to the previous year's test takers in those grade levels.
The biggest gain in any area in Bulloch County came in fifth-grade math, which rose by 9.4 percentage points to 90.78 percent passing. In Georgia, the biggest gain came in eighth-grade math, where the 2013 test takers' pass rate jumped 6.4 percentage points to 83 percent.
The highest pass rate in any area in Bulloch County this year came in fifth-grade English language arts, with 96.8 percent of test-takers meeting or exceeding the grade-level standard. In the state, the high mark came in eighth-grade reading, where 96.8 percent passed.
However, performance declined in some areas.
In Bulloch County, third- and sixth-grade pass rates fell in every subject except social studies.
The biggest drop in any tested area in Bulloch County came in sixth-grade science, which fell 6.5 percentage points to a 74 percent pass rate this year. That was also the system's lowest pass rate in any tested area.
Statewide, the biggest decline was in third-grade English language arts, which fell 2.5 percentage points to 78.5 percent passing in 2013. The lowest pass rate in any tested area statewide was sixth-grade science, where 74 percent met or exceeded the standards this year.