COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 85
April 26, 1996

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Superintendent's Advisory Council

 
  The Superintendent's Advisory Council meets monthly.  It is
  composed of the chairmen of the eight regional study groups,
  plus the VASS officers and executive director, the executive
  director of the VSBA, and a representative of the Virginia
  Council for Private Education.  We will distribute the
  minutes of each monthly meeting by means of a
  Superintendent's Memorandum.
  
  The minutes of the meeting of April 12, 1996, are attached. 
  Please contact this office if you have questions.
  
  Thank you.
  
  WCBJr/jd
  
  Attachment:  This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the superintendent's office
              SUPERINTENDENT'S ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
  
                    Friday, April 12, 1996
                   St. Christopher's School
                      Richmond, Virginia
  
  
  Present:     Superintendent's Group - Germaine S. Fauntleroy,
               James M. Anderson, Jr., James G. Blevins, Jane
               Massey-Wilson, Oliver A. McBride, Wayne White (for
               Raymond C. Dingledine), Bet Neal, legislative
               liaison, Virginia Association of School
               Superintendents, and George J. McVey, president,
               Virginia Council for Private Education.
  
               Department of Education - William C. Bosher, Jr.,
               M. Kenneth Magill, Doris Redfield, Cameron Harris,
               Lin Corbin-Howerton, and Harry L. Smith.
  
  
     Dr. Bosher opened the meeting by expressing
  appreciation to Mr. McVey for inviting the council to meet
  at St. Christopher's School where he is the headmaster. 
  Following Dr. Bosher's remarks, the council took up the
  agenda for the meeting which included the following topics:
  
     Assessment Update
  
     Dr. Bosher referred to a superintendent's memo (No. 73,
  April 5, 1996) regarding policy decisions of the Board of
  Education related to the new assessment program that is
  being developed for public schools.  Dr. Bosher said the
  state will not impose any "student-level consequences" for
  grades 3 through 5, and the Board will continue to discuss
  grades 8 and 10.
  
     Dr. Anderson asked about the long-range outlook for the
  Literacy Passport Test in light of the new Standards of
  Learning assessments.  Dr. Bosher responded by saying that
  the Board of Education may want to drop the LPT program
  within the next few years, possibly by 1998.
  
     The State Superintendent also informed the council of a
  resolution adopted by the Board of Education regarding the
  assessment of Standards of Learning for history and social
  science.  The resolution said, in part, "that during the
  development of the Standards of Learning assessments in
  history and social science, the content review committees,
  to be established to work with the test contractors, examine
  the other concerns raised in order to consider the
  feasibility of resolving those concerns through the
  assessment process and bring recommendations to the Board
  for approval."
  
     Dr. Redfield expressed hope that the Request for
  Proposal for the assessment program may be distributed in
  May and returned to the Department of Education in July. 
  She estimated 30 to 60 days will be needed to negotiate a
  contract with the test developer.  She said the agency's
  objective is to field test the assessment in the spring of
  1997.
  
     Cam Harris commented on the latest Outcome
  Accountability Program results that were distributed
  recently.  She noted that the program has been in effect for
  about eight years, and suggestions for revisions will be
  considered.  Dr. Anderson suggested that the schedule be
  adjusted to clarify the date of the report and indicate that
  it was for the year immediately preceding the date it was
  published.
  
     Dr. Tripp suggested that there is a need to assess
  school-to-work indicators.
  
     Superintendents' Issues
  
     Dr. McBride asked Dr. Bosher for information on the
  textbook adoption schedule, emphasizing that small school
  divisions need the reviewing process provided by the state
  Department of Education.  Dr. Bosher said textbooks
  submitted will be reviewed for correlation with the new
  Standards of Learning and information will be provided for
  school divisions.  He expressed hope that the school
  divisions will select books with the highest correlation
  with the standards.  The Department of Education, he said,
  will continue to provide technical assistance for school
  divisions.
  
     During a brief discussion of day care centers and early
  childhood programs, Dr. Bosher asked the superintendents to
  inform the Department of Education how it can support school
  divisions in working with day care centers and early
  childhood programs.
  
     Legislative Veto Session
  
     Lin Corbin-Howerton told the council that a
  superintendent's memo and a full legislative tracking report
  will be prepared following the General Assembly's
  reconvening on Wednesday, April 17.
  
     Dr. Bosher urged the council to follow closely HJR 196
  that was passed by the 1996 General Assembly to create a
  Commission on the Future of Public Education.  The
  Superintendent also expressed support for the Jobs for
  America's Graduates program that was discussed with the
  council in March by Ms. Adrienne Smith, director.
  
     Goals 2000 - Board Resolution
  
     Dr. Bosher called attention to a resolution adopted by
  the Board of Education urging Governor Allen to veto an item
  in the State Appropriation Act that deals with the federal
  Goals 2000 program.  Dr. Bosher told the council that, as of
  April 12, the Department of Education had received 53 local
  school board resolutions supporting participation in Goals
  2000.
  
     Uniforms in Public Schools; Other Issues
  
     Dr. Bosher reported that the Board of Education on
  March 28 received the draft of Guidelines for school
  divisions to use in adopting policies for students to wear
  uniforms in public schools.  He also noted the Board of
  Education decided last fall not to propose any changes in
  Standards of Quality.  He noted that school accreditation
  standards are on the Board of Education's agenda for
  preliminary discussion when it meets on April 24 and 25.  He
  asked the superintendents to think about changes in the
  standards and what they should include, and expressed hope
  that the standards would be discussed at meetings of the
  superintendents' study groups.  Dr. Anderson stated that the
  state is not paying its full share of the Standards of
  Quality program.  He said this is a need that should be
  addressed.  Dr. Bosher stated that he believes the
  Commission on the Future of Public Education will study
  funding which he sees as the next big issue in public
  education.
  
     Dr. Blevins said he would like to see economics
  mandated in the curriculum in public schools.  Students, he
  said, need that instruction.  Dr. Bosher responded by noting
  that the new Standards of Learning for history and social
  science include more emphasis on economics and geography
  than ever before.
  
     In the absence of other business, the meeting was
  adjourned.