P.O. BOX 2120



July 18, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Transmittal of the 2003 Standards of Quality


This memorandum provides information regarding the changes to the Code of Virginias Standards of Quality (SOQ),

22.1-253.13:1 through 22.1-253.13:8, passed by the 2003 General Assembly. The revisions are effective July 1, 2003, unless otherwise noted.


Attached is a copy of a highlighted version of the SOQ that includes the changes, noted in italics, and deletions. Also attached is a completed copy of the SOQ, as amended. Enactment clauses in 22.1-253.13.3 and 22.1-253.13.6 are noted in boldface type.


The 2003 General Assembly revised the SOQ through the following legislation:


House Bill 1464 directs the Board of Education to develop, by regulation, requirements for the award of the general achievement diploma to students (i) passing the GED examination; (ii) successfully completing an education and training program designated by the Board; and (iii) satisfying other requirements the Board may establish. See 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code.


House Bill 1493 expresses the belief of the General Assembly and the Board of Education that the quality of public education is dependent upon an appropriate learning environment designed to promote student achievement. See

22.1-253.13:1 of the Code.


House Bill 1503 requires the Board of Education to establish criteria for awarding a diploma seal for excellence in civics education and understanding of the state and federal constitutions and the democratic model of government for the Standard and Advanced Studies diplomas. See 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code.


House Bill 1757 requires school boards to provide programs of prevention, intervention, and remediation for students failing an end-of-course test required for the award of a verified unit of credit needed by the student for graduation. See 22.1-253.13.1 of the Code.


House Bill 2442 requires local school boards to identify students with limited English proficiency and enroll these students in appropriate instructional programs. It also requires state funding, pursuant to the appropriation act, for 10 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency. See 22.1-253.13:1 of the Code.


Senate Bill 710 expresses the belief of the General Assembly and the Board of Education that the quality of public education is dependent upon the provision of quality instruction that enables each student to become a productive and educated citizen. The legislation adds that in keeping with this goal, the General Assembly shall provide for the support of public education as set forth in Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution of Virginia. See 22.1-253.13:1 of the Code.

Senate Bill 779 provides that for any grade level or course for which a Standards of Learning assessment or other criterion- or norm-referenced assessment is administered, there shall be no required administration of the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (Stanford Nine) assessment, except as may be selected to facilitate compliance with the requirements for home instruction pursuant to 22.1-254.1 of the Code. Local school boards may administer the Stanford Nine at their discretion. It also removes other references to the Virginia State Assessment Program, which is comprised of the Stanford Nine, and the Virginia State Literacy Testing Program. See 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code.


I hope that you will find this information helpful. You can find a final legislative report for the 2003 General Assembly session on the departments website at under Legislation on the Policy and Communications Web page.


The Board of Educations recommendations regarding proposed changes to the SOQ will be presented for consideration to the 2004 General Assembly. Information regarding these proposed changes may be found on the Department of Educations Web page at


Please contact Dr. Cynthia Cave (, director of policy, at (804) 371-0558 if you need additional information.