COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 176
November 8, 1996

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Superintendent's Advisory Council

 
  The Superintendent's Advisory Council meets regularly.  It
  is composed of the chairmen of the eight regional study
  groups, plus the VASS officers and executive director, the
  superintendent of the Department of Correctional Education,
  the executive director of the VSBA, and a representative of
  the Virginia Council for Private Education.  We will
  distribute the minutes of each  meeting by means of a
  Superintendent's Memorandum.
  
  The minutes of the meeting of November 1, 1996, are
  attached.  If you have questions regarding this information,
  please contact Ken Magill at (804) 225-2073.
  
  Thank you.
  
  RTL/jd
  
  Attachment:  This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the superintendent's office
    Meeting of the State Superintendent's Advisory Council
  
                   Friday, November 1, 1996
  
  
  Present:     Superintendents' Group: James L. Ruffa, Howard
               Wainwright (for Dawn Goldstine), Jane Massey-Wilson,
               David M. Gangel, Raymond C. Dingledine,
               III, Martin J. Loughlin (for N. Wayne Tripp),
               Oliver A. McBride, James G. Blevins, James M.
               Anderson, Jr., Arthur W. Gosling, C. P. Penn, Jr.,
               Alfred R. Butler, IV, executive director, VASS,
               Walter McFarlane, superintendent, Department of
               Correctional Education, George J. McVey,
               president, Virginia Council for Private Education,
               Bett Neal, legislative liaison, VASS, and David G.
               Blount, governmental relations office, VSBA.
  
               Department of Education: Richard T. La Pointe, M.
               Kenneth Magill, Cathy Clark, Patty Pitts, Ida J.
               Hill, Jo Lynne DeMary, Diane Atkinson, and Harry
               L. Smith.
  
     Dr. La Pointe opened the meeting with a request for
  superintendents to present issues with which they are
  concerned.  Dr. Butler referred to media stories concerning
  the state's failure to apply for federal School-to-Work
  funds, and he distributed information sent to VASS members
  about the STW program.
  
     Dr. Butler emphasized the importance of the grants to
  school divisions.  He said he has spoken with Secretary of
  Education Beverly Sgro and informed her that many school
  divisions in the state are ready to meet federal
  requirements for the grant.  He also said school divisions
  have been asked to provide VASS with information about their
  School-to-Work programs as quickly as possible.
  
     Dr. Gosling noted that the new Standards of Learning
  include earth science in the high school science course of
  studies.  He saw this as a problem for students enrolled in
  accelerated programs in Arlington County, and he said it is
  an issue that needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.
  
     Dr. La Pointe responded by telling the superintendents
  that Governor Allen is dealing with the issue and that he
  believes they will be pleased with the Governor's response.
  
     Dr. Butler asked the Department of Education to look
  into the possibility of students using computers to take
  tests.  He said such an arrangement would give students
  quick results on their tests and provide other advantages
  for them and the schools that he believed would be
  beneficial.
  
     Considerable discussion followed Dr. La Pointe's
  request for comments regarding a state "barrier test" for
  high school graduation.  There was agreement on the need for
  a barrier test, but concern was expressed about whether or
  not it should be administered in the eleventh grade.  Dr. La
  Pointe said that no decision has been made on this issue.
  
  Meeting of the State Superintendent's Advisory Council
  Page 2
  
  
     Mr. Loughlin urged support for a strong vocational
  education program in the public schools.  Several
  superintendents expressed appreciation for assistance they
  have received from Department of Education personnel.
  
     Mrs. Pitts distributed information about efforts by the
  Advisory Board on Teacher Licensure to reduce current
  endorsement areas for teaching licenses and asked the
  advisory council for comments by November 8.
  
     Dr. Magill saw the need for discussion of changes in
  school accreditation standards at the superintendents'
  regional meetings.  Dr. Butler suggested that this item be
  included on agendas for discussion at those meetings.
  
     Dr. La Pointe informed the council that he had signed
  the contract for the development of tests to measure
  students' achievement.  He pointed out that the Board of
  Education and the Department of Education need comments from
  superintendents regarding the assessment program.
  
     The last item on the council's agenda was a report on
  the status of special education litigation involving the
  Department of Education and the U. S. Department of
  Education.  Mrs. Diane Atkinson reported that the state has
  asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing
  which will be held on December 4.  The issue involves the
  provision of educational services to special education
  students who are suspended or expelled from school.  Mrs.
  Atkinson said the court's decision may not be made until
  several months after the rehearing.
  
     Before the meeting adjourned, the State Superintendent
  informed the council that he hopes the Department of
  Education will have information on school divisions'
  implementation of the new Standards of Learning by the end
  of November.