COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 37
March 6, 1998

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne Demary
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
SUBJECT: New Standards of Learning for Optional Mathematics Courses--Probability and Statistics and Discrete Mathematics

 
On February 26, 1998, the Board of Education approved Standards of
Learning for two new optional mathematics courses--Probability and
Statistics and Discrete Mathematics.  The prerequisite content for
these courses is the Standards of Learning for Algebra II.  We
encourage you to distribute the attached standards to curriculum
specialists and teachers in your school division.   School divisions
who offer courses in Probability and Statistics and Discrete
Mathematics are encouraged to align local curricula with the new
Standards of Learning.

The new standards were drafted by a small writing committee of
teachers and mathematics specialists during work sessions in Summer
1997.  The draft standards were distributed to local school division
mathematics supervisors and contact persons and college/university
mathematics faculty as part of a statewide technical field review in
Fall 1997.  Feedback from this field review was analyzed by an
Executive Committee comprised of classroom teachers, mathematics
supervisors, and college faculty.  Comments on the draft standards
were overwhelmingly positive.  Recommendations from the field review
were used to develop the Standards of Learning, which were approved
by the Board of Education.

The purpose of the Probability and Statistics course is to present
concepts and techniques for collecting and analyzing data, drawing
conclusions, and making predictions.   The Discrete Mathematics
course involves the study of mathematical properties of sets and
systems that have a countable (discrete) number of elements.  In
this course, the main focus is problem solving in a discrete
setting.

If you have questions about the new Standards of Learning, please
call Dr. Patricia I. Wright, Director of Secondary Instruction, or
Mrs. Maureen Hijar, Mathematics Specialist, at (804) 225-2880.

JLD/piw

Attachment:    A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be
               sent to the superintendent's office.