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Most who failed Gateway promoted

SUWANEE - Nearly 87 percent of students who performed well in the classroom but failed Gwinnett County Public Schools' required Gateway exam will be promoted, school board members decided Thursday.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education met in executive session for more than three hours Thursday afternoon for the annual Gateway review. Of the 42,115 students in fourth-, fifth-, seventh- and eighth-grades, 336 qualified for the review.

"The review procedure ensures that the Gateway test is not the sole criterion used for determining promotion for students who have earned grades of C or above all year in subjects tested on the Gateway," said Dale Robbins, who works in the school system's division of teaching and learning. "The review committee takes into account a student's grades and Gateway results, as well as parent and teacher input, to ensure that an uncharacteristic failing score on the Gateway does not have a negative impact on a student."

The school board decided 52 fourth-graders, four seventh-graders and eight eighth-graders - or 64 students - can be promoted to the next grade without attending summer school. The free summer session was highly recommended for 228 students - 103 fourth-graders, two fifth-graders, 94 seventh-graders and 29 eighth-graders - who were also promoted.

Board members decided 42 fourth-graders and two seventh-graders will be retained unless they retake and pass the Gateway exam. It was also highly recommended those students attend summer school.

The school system uses the state Criterion-Referenced Competency Test as its Gateway in fourth and seventh grades. The Georgia Writing Assessment is used as the Gateway in fifth and eighth grades.