COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 72
April 5, 1996

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Assessment Update

 
  At its March 28, 1996 meeting, the Board of Education met in
  executive session to discuss the intent to enter into a
  competitive bid process relative to Virginia's new
  assessment program.  After the session, the Board announced
  several policy decisions related to the new testing program
  as listed below.  
  
     The Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop and
     implement Virginia's new assessment system should
     request that potential contractors submit proposals for
     testing in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10.  This decision was
     influenced by recent legislative action that proposed
     funding for testing in up to four grade levels.  
  
     The RFP should request that potential contractors
     propose plans for developing tests that are as
     technically sound as possible at all grade levels and
     content areas to be assessed.
  
     Writing assessments should be included in the grade 8
     and grade 10 assessments.
  
     Tests should be machine scorable with a minimum number
     of non machine scorable items as may be required to
     address particular SOLs.
  
  The Board will continue its discussion of assessment at its
  April meeting in Roanoke.  We will continue to update you as
  information becomes available.  Meanwhile, if you have
  questions, please contact Doris Redfield, Division Chief for
  Assessment and Reporting, at 804/225-2102 or
  dredfiel@pen.k12.va.us.
  
  WCBJr/DLR/jcc