SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 180
December 4, 1998
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Superintendent's Study Group|
The Superintendent's Study Group meets regularly. It is composed of the chairmen of the eight regional study groups, plus the VASS officers. We will distribute the minutes of each meeting by means of a Superintendent's Memorandum. The minutes of the meeting of November 13, 1998, are attached. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Richard Layman at (804) 225-2024. Thank you. PDS/pg Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attach- ments will be sent to the superintendent's office. Meeting of the State Superintendent's Public Education Study Group Friday, November 13, 1998 Present: Superintendents' Group: Mark A. Edwards, Howard E. Wainwright, Russell L. Watson, Dennis W. Kellison, Wayne K. White, Martin J. Laughlin, Oliver A. McBride, Philip L. Worrell, Steven R. Staples, Alfred R. Butler Department of Education: Paul D. Stapleton, Kirk T. Schroder, Mark Christie, Richard W. Layman, M. Kenneth Magill, Cam Harris, Charles W. Finley, Dan Timberlake, Diane Atkinson, Cynthia Cave, Harry L. Smith. State Superintendent Paul Stapleton opened the meeting at 10:00 a.m. by calling attention to the recent action by the Board of Education setting the passing scores on Standards of Learning tests. The superintendent said that he had invited Kirk T. Schroder, president of the Board of Education, and Mark C. Christie, a member of the board, to meet with the study group members and provide background information about the decisions affecting the SOL passing scores. Mr. Schroder briefed the superintendents on the board's decisions on the SOL scores when it met on October 30 and said it was a very difficult experience. He concluded his remarks by stating that he felt that the board "honored its agreement to stay within the ranges (recommended by the Standard Setting Committees) and that we did the right thing." He stated that he is aware that educators and the public are looking at the requirement that 70 percent of students in grades 5 and 8 and in high school must pass each of the four core disciplines--English, mathematics, science, and history and social science for a school to be accredited. He added that he was confident the SOL tests and standards are in accordance with nationally accepted programs. For the next several hours, the superintendents discussed the SOL cut scores, the impact of the board's action on accreditation of public schools, issues related to accountability for the performance of public schools, the School Report Card to be distributed to parents, time in school schedules for vocational education, and other topics. Mr. Schroder assured the superintendents that the Board of Education is going to do all it can do to help students improve in their educational programs and to deal with public relations issues related to the passing scores for students and school accreditation. He promised that the Board of Education is going to address problems that arise as it proceeds to carry out its responsibilities. Mr. Christie stated that the board wants to work with superintendents to make the best decisions possible regarding accreditation and other matters of concern. Mr. Stapleton reported that the final revisions in the School Report Card are scheduled to be made on November 30. He praised Mr. Schroder for the leadership he provided for the Board of Education in establishing the passing scores for the SOL. Ms. Harris reported that a superintendent's memo will be distributed to provide information on the second phase of the spring 1998 SOL test scores. She also said, in response to a question, that the School Report Card will be sent to superintendents for distribution in January; the state will pay up to 32 cents for the cost of mailing the report card to parents. Mr. Layman encouraged the superintendents to continue their contacts with the state superintendent and the president of the Board of Education about any concerns that they may have. He also announced that a survey will be sent to school divisions to obtain superintendents' priorities for school construction and other needs. In the absence of other business, the meeting was adjourned.