SUWANEE - An advisory committee recently told the Gwinnett County Board of Education it recommends the school system use the CRCT in language arts and mathematics as the multiple-choice section of the Gateway.
The recommendation, presented Thursday during the board's monthly work session, follows a change in the Georgia Performance Standards, which Gwinnett County Public Schools officials say are more in line with Gwinnett's Academic Knowledge and Skills curriculum.
Using the state-required Criterion-Referenced Competency Test as the multiple-choice section for the Gateway in language arts and mathematics would reduce the number of tests some students must take. The CRCT is administered to first- through eighth-grade students; the Gateway is given to fourth- and seventh-grade students for promotion to the next grade. The Gateway and CRCT exams are administered in April.
The committee suggested the school system add open-ended questions to the CRCT's math section for the Gateway to ensure coverage of Gwinnett's AKS curriculum.
Linda Mitchell, the executive director of student accountability, assessment and advisement, said the school system has not made any recommendations to the board about policy changes to the Gateway.
If any policy changes are made, they would not be implemented this school year, Mitchell said.
The Gateway Technical Advisory Committee has reviewed the GCPS Gateway assessment program since 2001, and it makes recommendations about test development, validity and policies.
A few years ago, the school system adopted the committee's suggestion to use the CRCT's exams in social studies and science for the Gateway.
The committee also suggested the school system publish information about the history of the Gateway.
Technical Advisory Committee member Diane Garavaglia told the board other school systems could benefit from Gwinnett's experiences with the Gateway.
Garavaglia also commended the school system for sustaining high performance while student population has surged and student diversity had increased.
"You serve more students than Delaware, Vermont, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota each serve daily," Garavaglia told the board.