COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 123

June 2, 2006

 

INFORMATIONAL

 

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Cut Scores Adopted by the Board of Education for the Standards of Learning Mathematics and Reading Tests in Grades 3 through 8 and the Grade 8 Writing Test

 

 

On May 24, 2006, the Virginia Board of Education adopted cut scores for new Standards of Learning (SOL) tests for grades 3 through 8 reading, grades 3 through 8 mathematics, and grade 8 writing. For the grade 8 writing test cut scores were adopted for the achievement levels of pass/proficient and pass/advanced. For the new reading and mathematics tests cut scores were adopted for the achievement levels of fail/basic, pass/proficient and pass/advanced. The cut score for the basic level was added for the tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to provide additional information about the progress that failing students are making toward achieving proficiency on the test. Those students scoring at the basic level have not passed the test but are closer to reaching proficiency than the students in the fail/below basic category. Beginning with the implementation of the new testing contract in fall 2006, students who fail the reading or mathematics tests for grades 3 through 8 will receive a proficiency level of fail/below basic or fail/basic.

 

In 2005-2006, there were changes to the blueprints for the grades 5 and 8 writing tests. Both writing tests were taken to standard setting committees. However, after meeting with the grade 5 committee and further consultation with the psychometric staff from the testing contractor, it was determined that changes in the grade 5 writing test were not sufficient to warrant the adoption of new cut scores. Therefore, the grade 5 writing test will continue to be equated to the original cut scores adopted by the Board of Education in 1998.

 

A list of cut scores adopted by the Virginia Board of Education on May 24, 2006, may be found in the attachment. For a complete listing of cut scores adopted by the Board of Education for the SOL tests, please go to http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Assessment/SOLPASS.pdf. Should you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Division of Assessment and Reporting at darfax@doe.virginia.gov or call (804) 225-2102.

 

PIW/SLR/jc

 

Attachment

 

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2006/inf123a.pdf