COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 39
February 23, 1996

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Teacher Assessment Standard Setting and Validation Studies


Superintendents Memorandum Number 156, dated November 27,
  1995, announced the decision of the Board of Education to
  require the use of Praxis I and II for the assessment of
  beginning teachers.  Requirements for Praxis I have been
  established by the Board and will become effective statewide
  for beginning teachers on July 1, 1996.  Prior to
  establishing passing scores on the Praxis assessment,
  Virginia and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) conduct
  standard setting and validation studies.  Studies to set
  standards and validate content tests for English/Language
  and Literature, mathematics, social studies, physics,
  chemistry, biology, and earth/space science, and professional
  knowledge in instructional methodology at the elementary, middle,
  and secondary levels have been scheduled for the week of May 20,
  1996.
  
  During the week of May 20, staff in the Department of
  Education will work cooperatively with ETS to conduct the
  studies using ten panels of teachers, teacher educators, and
  central office personnel.  I am asking your assistance in
  nominating teachers to participate in these studies.  Each
  test will be reviewed by a panel of 20 teachers.  One review
  panel will be convened for each content area test and each
  level of the professional knowledge/methodology test.  ETS
  has established the following criteria for teachers
  nominated to serve on the study panels:
  
     -      each individual must hold a valid Virginia
            Collegiate Professional or Postgraduate
            Professional teaching license in the subject to be
            reviewed, and
  
  
  
  SUPTS. MEMO. NO.  39 
  February 23, 1996
  Page 2
  
  
     -      each individual should have at least one year, but
            not more than seven years of classroom experience
            and currently teach the subject to be reviewed or
            be a mentor or supervisor of beginning teachers in
            the subject to be reviewed.
  
  
  If teachers have more than seven years of experience and you
  would like to nominate them to participate in one of the
  studies, they must have recently supervised a student
  teacher or been a mentor to a first-year teacher. 
  Experience parameters have been established because the
  Praxis II Subject Assessments will be used as part of the
  state's requirements for an initial teaching license. 
  Teachers in your division who are teaching with a
  Provisional License and who will need to take one or more of
  the subject assessments in the future to be eligible for the
  Collegiate Professional or Postgraduate Professional License
  should not be nominated to participate in the study.
  
  I would appreciate your assistance in nominating a
  practicing classroom teacher in each of the ten categories
  outlined on the attached nomination form.  Please share with
  your nominees the fact that not all teachers will be
  selected by ETS as participants in the studies.  ETS must
  assure that appropriate representation on each panel
  includes diversity in the areas of race, gender, ethnicity
  of individuals, and rural, urban, and suburban school
  divisions.
  
  Teachers who are selected from your nominees will
  participate for one or two days during the week of May 20,
  1996, at a site in central Virginia to be announced in
  future communications.  ETS will pay for expenses incurred
  including travel, meals, and lodging.  All teachers who
  agree to participate as panelists must be present for the
  full time required to conduct the study.
  
  A nomination form is enclosed for your use.  Please copy a
  form for each nominee.  The completed forms should be mailed
  no later than March 30, 1996, to:
  
                    Ms. Marlene Legett
                    Educational Testing Service
                    Rosedale Road
                    Mail Stop 38-V
                    Princeton, New Jersey 08541
  
  Thank you for your assistance with this project.  If you
  have questions regarding this request or the beginning
  teacher assessment, please do not hesitate to contact Thomas
  A. Elliott, Division Chief for Compliance, at (804) 371-2522.
  
  WCBJr/rt
  Attachment:  This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the Superintendent's office.