SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 2
January 8, 1999
|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 December 11, 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- ment will be sent to the superintendent's office. Meeting of the Public Education Superintendent's Advisory Council Friday, December 11, 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, and Alfred L. Butler, executive director, and Andy Stamp, assistant executive director, VASS. Department of Education: Paul D. Stapleton, Richard W. Layman, M. Kenneth Magill, Patricia Wright, Cameron Harris, Jo Lynne DeMary, Thomas Shortt, Diane Atkinson, M. Jo Bunce, Cynthia Cave, and Harry L. Smith. State Superintendent Paul D. Stapleton welcomed the superintendent's group and asked Mrs. Cam Harris to provide an update on the Virginia School Report Card that is being developed to inform parents about the performance of public schools. Mrs. Harris distributed copies of a draft of the School Report Card that reflected changes that were requested by the Superintendent's Report Card Committee. During consideration of the Report Card, a general discussion developed regarding problems relating to the new accreditation standards and Standards of Learning assessment. Comments concerned the need for some method for provisional accreditation for schools not fully accredited, timing of the end-of-year assessment for high school students, and how the Board of Education decided on the 70 percent passing requirement for school accreditation. Mr. Layman suggested that the superintendents' concerns be put in a report to be considered by the state superintendent and the Board of Education. Dr. Butler suggested that the Superintendents Assessment Committee, headed by Dr. Edwards, be asked to study concerns and make recommendations for solving the problems. Mr. Stapleton agreed to that suggestion and the committee will meet in February. Mr. Stapleton explained some of the problems involved in dealing with the superintendents' concerns and promised to provide any help that he can give to solve the problems. He pointed out that the time-of-tests issue involves the new testing procedure and it is difficult to make changes until the Department of Education and the Board of Education have had more experience with the process. The state superintendent noted that there has been much discussion about state testing and that he appreciated the suggestions and thoughtful solutions provided by local superintendents. He expressed his commitment to maintaining local autonomy without interference from the state. In response to a question, Mrs. Harris said the school Report Card probably will be sent to school divisions about the third week in January to be distributed to parents. Dr. DeMary called attention to the fact that the Department of Education has signed a contract with Virginia Commonwealth University to design and conduct the evaluation of the SOL professional development initiative and that the report is being compiled. She noted that some school divisions want to use the evaluation forms after they have been completed. She said, however, that the data reported on the forms are confidential and cannot be shared. She also stated that funds for the training initiative were provided by the General Assembly, which wants to be sure that the money allocated is bringing effective results. Ms. Karen Trump, a special education specialist working with new provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, explained changes in the federal regulations governing IDEA. Mr. McBride said superintendents need a common set of terms and definitions used in referring to administrative software such as the old blue book, and asked if a list could be provided. Mr. Stapleton promised that this information will be furnished in a superintendent's memo. In the absence of other business, the meeting was adjourned.