Update on Gateways and Promotion/Retention Standards
In October, the State Board of Education decided to eliminate the requirement for students to pass EOC and EOG tests as “gateways” to be promoted to the next grade level from third, fifth or eighth grades or to graduate from high school.
The tests are still required by the state and testing will continue in all North Carolina school districts with results being monitored and reported for each school and counted in the district’s accountability results. High school EOC scores will also continue to count as a minimum of 25 percent of students’ final grades.
Even though the state is no longer requiring students to pass these tests as a factor in determining eligibility for promotion or graduation, local education agencies (LEAs) have the option of maintaining local promotion and graduation standards — including continuation of the student accountability gateway standards. Guilford County Schools will continue to keep the requirement in place this school year. The district has given thoughtful consideration to this decision and believes it is currently in the best interest of both students and staff.
To be promoted to the next grade level or graduate, students must meet both the state’s minimum requirements and any additional requirements of their local school district. This year, GCS students will still be required to pass the EOG tests of reading and math in grades 3, 5 and 8 and the five core EOC exams in high school: Algebra I, English I, biology, U. S. history, and civics and economics.
In order to make an informed decision about how to move forward, GCS is forming a committee to analyze the impact that would be caused by changing the district’s requirements. The committee will include teachers, principals and central office administrators who will consider the effect on school performance measures, personnel and financial resources, as well as promotion and retention patterns. They will also look at what other districts are doing.
Additional information will be forthcoming as a recommendation is made about how we should move forward for the 2011-12 school year. If you have questions about how this affects your child, please contact Keisha McMillan, principal, at 370-8270.