COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 163
October 4, 1996

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Teacher Assessment Standard Setting and Validation Studies - Praxis II

 
  Superintendent's 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 became effective July 1, 1996.  
  
  Prior to establishing passing scores on the Praxis II
  assessments in the various endorsement areas, the Department
  of Education and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) must
  conduct standard setting and validation studies.  During the
  week of November 11, 1996, studies to set standards and
  validate content tests for the following content areas will
  be conducted:  art; physical education; French; German;
  Spanish; Japanese; Latin; health;  business  education;  and
  music.  During the week of December 2, studies will be
  conducted for these content area tests:  marketing; speech
  communication; technology education; home economics; special
  education preschool\early childhood; speech-language
  pathology; education of students who are deaf and hard of
  hearing; education of students with mild and moderate
  disabilities; education of students with moderate and severe
  disabilities; and education of students with visual
  impairments.  
  
  Each test that undergoes the validation and standard setting
  study process will be examined by a panel of teachers,
  teacher educators, and central office personnel.  I am
  asking your assistance in nominating teachers to participate
  in these studies.  Each review panel will include 20
  teachers.  A separate panel will be convened to review each
  test.
  
  ETS has established the two criteria for teachers nominated
  to serve on the study panels.
  
  1. Each individual must hold a valid Virginia Collegiate
     Professional or Postgraduate Professional teaching
     license with an endorsement in the subject area to be 
  
  Division Superintendents
  October 4, 1996
  Page 2
  
  
  
     reviewed.  Teachers who are nominated to review the
     Special Education, Mild and Moderate test must be
     endorsed in Learning Disabilities, Mental Retardation,
     or Emotional Disturbance.  Teachers who are nominated
     to review the Special Education, Moderate and Severe
     test must be endorsed in Learning Disabilities, Mental
     Retardation, Emotional Disturbance, or Severe
     Disabilities.
  
  2. Each individual must have at least one year, but not
     more than seven years of classroom experience and
     currently teach the subject or area 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 are intended to be used as
  part of the state's requirements for initial teacher
  licensure.  Teachers in your division who are working with a
  Provisional License and who will need to take one or more of
  the 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 20 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 will participate for one day
  during the week of November 11 or December 2, 1996, at a
  site that will be announced in future communications.  ETS
  will pay for panelists' travel, meals, and lodging for one
  night.  All teachers who agree to participate as panelists
  must be present for the full time required to complete the
  study.  The dates of each study are listed on an attachment
  to this memorandum.
  
  A nomination form is attached your use.  Please complete one
  form for each teacher being nominated and mail them no later
  than October 15, 1996 to:
  
               Ms. Marlene Legett
               Educational Testing Service
               Rosedale Road
               Mail Stop 38-V
               Princeton, New Jersey 08541
  
  Thank you in advance for your assistance with this project. 
  If you have any questions about this request or the
  beginning teacher assessment, please contact Dr. Thomas A.
  Elliott, Division Chief for Compliance, at (804) 371-2522.  
  
  
  RTL/jsr
  Attachment:  This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the superintendent's office.