COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 146

August 5, 2005

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Approval of the Virginia Reading Assessment (VRA) Cut-Scores for Elementary and Special Education Teachers and Reading Specialists

 

At its July 27, 2005, meeting, the Board of Education approved cut-scores for the Virginia Reading Assessments (VRA) for elementary and special education teachers and reading specialists. The board approved a score of 235 for elementary and special education teachers and a score of 245 for reading specialists, effective July 1, 2006.

 

The Board of Educations decision to approve the VRA cut-scores was a recommendation of the Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure (ABTEL). The advisory board based its recommendation to the Board of Education on results of a validation and standard-setting report titled, The Virginia Reading Assessment for Elementary and Special Education Teachers and the Virginia Reading Assessment for Reading Specialists generated by National Evaluation Systems, (NES) Inc. In establishing the cut-scores, ABTEL also considered the recommended cut-score from the Validation and Standard-Setting Panel, the pass rate data collected by NES over the past year, the need for possible adjustments based on measurement error, and input received from Virginia educators serving on the Performance Standard-Setting Panel.

Copies of the validation and standard-setting report are available from the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure, Department of Education.

As a requirement of the Board of Educations April 29, 2003 resolution to enhance the teaching of reading and development of a reading test, it was agreed that between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2006, the VRA would be required of all candidates applying for initial licensure with endorsements in Early/Primary PreK-3, Elementary Education PreK-6, Special Education including Emotional Disturbances, Learning Disabilities, Mental Retardation, Hearing Impairments, Visual Impairments, and individuals seeking an endorsement as a Reading Specialist. Also, as a result of the boards action on July 27, 2005, institutions of higher education with preparation programs in teaching endorsement areas requiring the VRA will have another year to continue aligning their programs with required reading competencies.

The VRA is administered six times each year at varying locations throughout Virginia. The Virginia Reading Assessment (VRA) 2005-2006 Registration Bulletin provides general information about the VRA and information and forms necessary to register for the assessment. Electronic copies of the bulletin may be obtained in PDF format, free of charge, on the VRA website: www.vra.nesinc.com. The PDF format does NOT include a registration form. Registration forms are available ONLY in the current printed registration bulletin. Internet registrations for test administrations also are available at the VRA website.

 

For additional information regarding the VRA, please contact Dr. Thomas A. Elliott, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, Thomas.Elliott@doe.virginia.gov, 804) 371-2522 or Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, director of licensure, Patty.Pitts@doe.virginia.gov, (804) 371-2471, or Dr. JoAnne Y. Carver, director of teacher education and teacher quality enhancement, JoAnne.Carver@doe.virginia.gov, (804) 371-2475.

 

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