Teacher-Proposed Cut Scores Adopted; Four Subtest Scores in Place for 2000, Others to be Phased in by 2004









Teacher-Proposed Cut Scores Adopted; Four Subtest Scores in Place for 2000, Others to be Phased in by 2004

The "cut scores"-- or passing scores-- for the Gateway tests were adopted by the School Board on November 11.
Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks asked the Board to adopt the cut scores that were proposed by teams of Gwinnett
teachers after much "... excellent work in setting fair, but challenging, standards for our students."
Data from the pilot tests in 1998 and 1999 showed that Gwinnett students performed particularly well on four subtests--
7th grade language arts, 5th grade writing, and 4th grade language arts and science. Mr. Wilbanks recommended that the scores
the teachers proposed for those areas go into effect beginning in 2000.
In other areas, however, it was evident that students and teachers need more time to be sure students are learning
the curriculum. Mr. Wilbanks recommended the cut scores for those tests be phased in over five years. The cut score
will increase each year until 2004, when the teacher-proposed standard will go into effect. (See chart below.)
In making his recommendation to the School Board, Mr. Wilbanks said, "Phasing in the scores preserves the
value of the test, is fair to students, and is reassuring to teachers and parents. It allows more time for teachers, students,
and parents to work together on the AKS curriculum. Our goal is to ensure all students are learning and meeting the
high standards needed to be successful."
The adopted cut scores for all portions of the Gateway tests appear below. The scores are given as "scaled scores."
Scaled scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly and their difficulty.
Mr. Wilbanks also recommended Board adoption of four levels of AKS mastery: excellent; effective; minimal,
passing; and below minimal (failing). All scores, except "below minimal," are considered passing scores.


Teacher- Recommended Cut Score
(Note: These are raw or scaled scores and are not appropriately converted to percentages; i.e., similar to SAT testing.)
Supt.’s
Recommended Cut Score

2000
Supt.’s
Recommended Cut Score

2001
Supt.’s
Recommended Cut Score

2002
Supt.’s
Recommended Cut Score

2003
Supt.’s
Recommended Cut Score

2004
Percent
“Failures” and (Number of Failures”) in Last Year of Pilot Based on Recommended Year-One Cut Score
High School*
Science
58
38
42
46
51
58
11 (715)
Lang. Arts
70
50
53
55
61
70
10 (650)
Social Studies
60
40
46
51
55
60
9 (585)
8th Grade
Writing
30
20
22
24
27
30
5 (360)
7th Grade
Lang. Arts **
434
434
434
434
434
434
5.7 (408)
Math
480
422
434
445
462
480
4.0 (288)
Science
463
426
430
440
446
463
3.6 (257)
Soc. Studies
459
424
427
436
445
459
3.1 (213)
5th Grade
Writing **
6
6
6
6
6
6
4 (324)
4th Grade
Lang. Arts **
430
430
430
430
430
430
4.9 (315)
Math
469
405
419
435
451
469
3.6 (250)
Science **
440
440
440
440
440
440
3.5 (225)
Soc. Studies
473
408
420
441
461
473
3.4 (233)
*Mathematics is not assessed on the High School Gateway. Since the content area of science required technical writing and the content area of social studies required expository and narrative writing, additional content areas were not recommended.

**Areas in which no phase-in of scores is recommended.

Range of possible scores:
High School: Science-- 20-120, Language Arts-- 22-132, and Social Studies-- 20-120
8th Grade Writing: 16-64
7th Grade: All subtests-- 300-800
5th Grade Writing: 2-12
4th Grade: All subtests-- 300-800

EXAMPLE of how to read chart: A fourth-grader taking the Gateway test in the spring of 2000 would need to score the following to pass: 430 or above in language arts, 405 or above in math, 440 or above in science, and 408 or above in social studies. These points are out of a possible score of 800. These scores are scaled scores-- like the scores reported on the SAT-- and it is not appropriate to convert them to percentages.