SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 33
February 14, 1997 |

TO: | Division Superintendents |

FROM: | Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction |

SUBJECT: | Clarification on Use of Calculators on Stanford 9 |

The purpose of this memo is to provide you with additional information on appropriate types of calculators for use with the Stanford 9 achievement test. As stated in Superintendent's Informational Memo. No. 21, dated February 7, 1997, four-function calculators may be used on the Mathematics Problem Solving subtest at grades 5 and 8 and on the Mathematics subtest at grade 11. Calculators may not be used on the Mathematics Procedures subtest at grades 5 and 8. Any four-function calculator (defined for use on the Stanford 9 as a calculator having only add, subtract, multiply, and divide functions) and calculators having percent and square root functions may be used by students taking the Stanford 9. Calculators having any additional functions (e.g., sine, cosine, fraction to decimal, decimal to fraction), calculators having algebraic operating systems (AOS), and graphing calculators should not be used by students when taking the Stanford 9. Next school year (1997-98), Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement will provide four-function calculators as part of the Standards of Learning (SOL) Assessment Program. These calculators will arrive in school divisions well in advance of the administrations of the SOL assessments and the Stanford 9 and Division Superintendents Page 2 February 14, 1997 will remain in the school division after the tests have been administered. School divisions may elect to use these calculators with the Stanford 9, beginning in 1998. As stated in Superintendent's Informational Memo. No. 21, dated February 7, 1997, Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement has conducted a special research study of the effects of the use of calculators on scores on the Stanford 9. The results of this study showed virtually no difference in performance between those who used four-function calculators and those who did not. Given this result, the use of calculators will not provide an advantage for one group of students over another group that did not use calculators. Please bear in mind that four-function calculators are allowed only on the Mathematics Problem Solving subtest at grades 5 and 8 and the Mathematics subtest at grade 11. Calculators are not allowed on the Mathematics Procedures subtest. Calculators would very likely make a difference on a mathematics procedures subtest consisting of computational-type questions. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Division of Assessment and Reporting at (804) 225-2102. You may direct your questions to any of the following staff members: Cam Harris, Shelley Loving-Ryder, Dan Keeling, Kevin Hughes, or Judy Singh. RTL/mwc