COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 74
May 22, 1998

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Nominations for Standard Setting Committees - Standards of Learning Testing

 
  In late summer 1998, standard setting committees of Virginia
  educators and citizens will be convened to recommend to the
  Virginia Board of Education  cut scores" for each of the
  Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments at grades 3, 5 and 8
  and for certain high school courses.  Using data from the
  spring 1998 administration of the SOL tests, committee
  members will make recommendations regarding two cut scores
  for each test:  (1) a score that students must attain to be
  proficient and (2) a score that must be obtained for a
  student to be considered advanced. 

  The purpose of this memorandum is to solicit nominations
  from school division superintendents for local educators to
  serve on these committees.  Nominees should be teachers or
  curriculum specialists with knowledge of the content covered
  by the test as well as experience with students at the grade
  level being assessed.

  A list of committees to be convened and the tests for which
  they will recommend cut scores is attached.  Meetings will
  be held in late July and early August and will last from
  three to five days depending on the number of tests assigned
  to the committee.  More specific information on the dates of
  the meeting will be sent to you shortly.  An application
  form to be completed by the nominee and signed by the
  division superintendent is attached.  Mileage, meals, and
  lodging will be reimbursed for all participants.  Those
  participants not under contract during the days of the
  meetings will receive a $50 per day stipend.

  Selection of committee members will take into consideration
  geographic distribution, ethnic/racial balance and coverage
  of the grades/content being considered.  Additional
  nominations will be solicited from school divisions,
  educational, organizations, institutions of higher learning
  and the business community. 

  Once the standard setting committees have completed their
  work, their recommendations regarding cut scores will be
  provided to the Board of Education who will make a final
  decision about the minimum score required for the proficient
  level and for the advanced level.  After the Board makes
  this decision, the SOL score reports from the spring 1998
  administration will be re-run showing the scores for
  students, schools, school divisions, and the state in terms
  of the achievement levels.  SOL tests for future
  administrations will be statistically equated to the tests
  on which the cut scores were set so that in future
  administrations the same level of proficiency will be
  required for students to be considered proficient and
  advanced.  

  Questions about nominating educators for the standard
  setting committees or about the standard setting process in
  general should be directed to the staff of the Division of
  Assessment and Reporting at (804) 225-2102.


  PDS/ch

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

  -----------------------------------------------------------                

  Your Name: _____________________________________________

               SOL Standard Setting Committees
                  Application for Membership
                         Spring 1998

  Part I: Content Area Expertise

  For which committee are you applying?  (Check one)

  _____ Grade 3:  Committee will make recommendations for each
                  of the four tests.
                  If you feel you have particular expertise or
                  experience in one of the four core areas,
                  please note that below:
                  ______ English        ______ Science
                  ______ Mathematics    ______ Social Science

  _____ Grade 5:  Committee will make recommendations in
                  English (reading, literature, and            
                  research only), mathematics, science and
                  social science
                  If you feel you have particular expertise or
                  experience in one of the four core areas,
                  please note that below:
                  ______ English: Reading/Literature/Research    
                  ______ Mathematics
                  ______ Science
                  ______ Social Science

  ______ Computer Technology:  Committee will make recommendations
                  for the grade 5 and the grade 8 tests. 
                  If you feel you have particular expertise or
                  experience in one grade rather than the
                  other, please note that below:
                  ________ Grade 5
                  ________ Grade 8

  _______ Writing: Committee will make recommendations at
                  grades 5, 8, and high school.
                  If you feel you have particular
                  expertise or experience in one grade
                  rather than the other, please note that
                  below:
                  ________ Grade 5
                  ________ Grade 8
                  ________ High School End-of-Course

  ________ Mathematics: Committee will make recommendation
                  for grade 8 mathematics, Algebra I,
                  Algebra II,and Geometry. 
                  If you feel you have particular
                  expertise or experience in one grade
                  rather than the other, please note that
                  below:
                  ______ Grade 8 Mathematics ______ Algebra II
                  ______ Algebra I           ______ Geometry

  ________ Science: Committee will make recommendations for
                  Grade 8 Science, Earth Science, Biology,
                  and  Chemistry. 
                  If you feel you have particular
                  expertise or experience in one grade
                  rather than the other, please note that
                  below:
                  ______ Grade 8 Science     ______ Biology
                  ______ Earth Science       ______ Chemistry

  ________ History: Committee will make recommendations for
                  grade 8 history, World History to 1000
                  plus World Geography, World History from
                  1000 to the Present plus World
                  Geography, U. S. History. 
                  If you feel you have particular
                  expertise or experience in one grade
                  rather than the other, please note that
                  below:
                  ______ Grade 8 History
                  ______ World History to 1000 plus World Geography
                  ______ World History from 1000 to the Present 
                         plus World Geography
                  ______ U. S. History

  _______ English: Committee will make recommendations for
                  English: Reading, Literature, and
                  Research in grade 8 and high school end-of-course (EOC).
                  If you feel you have particular
                  expertise or experience in one grade
                  rather than the other, please note that
                  below:
                  ______ Grade 8:  Reading, Literature, and Research
                  ______ EOC English:  Reading, Literature, and 
                         Research                             


  Part II: Demographic Characteristics

  Please check each of the following that apply:

  _____Female     _____ American Indian or Alaskan Native
  _____ Male      _____ Asian or Pacific Islander
                  _____ Black (not of Hispanic Origin)
                  _____ Hispanic
                  _____ White (not of Hispanic Origin)

  I have been a public school teacher for the following number
  of years: __________________


  Part III: Additional Information

  Please check each of the following that apply:

  _____   I have experience in the teaching of students
          with disabilities.  

  Please list disability areas: 
  ____________________________________________________________

  ____________________________________________________________

  _____ I have experience in the teaching of limited
        English proficient students. 

  _____ While I have not had teaching experience, I feel
        I can make a contribution to this effort in the
        following way: 


  Name: ______________________________________________________

  Summer Mailing Address: ____________________________________

  Summer Phone Number: _______________________________________


  Approval of Nomination: _________________________ Date: ________
                           Division Superintendent 

  School Division: ___________________________________________



  Return by June 12, 1998 to: Virginia Department of Education
                              Division of Assessment and Reporting
                              P.O. Box 2120
                              Richmond, VA 23218-2120
                              Fax: (804) 371-8978