SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 176
November 8, 1996
|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.