SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 85
April 26, 1996
|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.