COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 297
December 5, 2008
of Public Instruction
of Quality Resolution from the Board of Education to the Governor and General
behalf of the Board of Education, I am pleased to transmit the Board's
recommendations for the Standards of
Quality (SOQ). The attached
resolution was approved by the Board at its November 20 meeting and submitted
to the Governor and the General Assembly on November 28.
in 2001, the Virginia Board of Education has undertaken a comprehensive,
ongoing review of the SOQ. From this
ongoing review, a number of the recommendations brought forward by the Board
have been incorporated into the SOQ. At
this time, seven recommendations have not yet been incorporated in the
SOQ. The Board continues to support them
and has reaffirmed these recommendations every year since their inception.
Board is keenly aware that state revenues are tenuous and will remain so for a
while. Being mindful of fiscal
constraints, the Board offered intermediate options to address three of its
recommendations which have not yet become part of the SOQ, and offered an
alternative related to the instruction of English Language Learners. These options do not expend additional
resources but do promote flexibility by integrating and linking existing
programs that reside both within the SOQ and outside of it. All options would require an amendment to SOQ
language either in the Appropriation Act or in the Code of Virginia.
- Recommendation 1: Data Manager/Test Coordinator. This intermediate option would address
the need for a data manager/test coordinator for every 1,000
students. The position would be
Board-licensed and would be responsible for analyzing and interpreting
data for the improvement of instruction.
The SOQ already provides for one instructional technology resource
teacher (ITRT) per 1,000 students.
With amended language, school divisions could make a choice to
employ the ITRT, the data manager/test coordinator, or a position that
blends both duties.
- Recommendation 2: Reading
Specialist. This option relates
to the recommendation for one reading specialist for every 1,000 students
in all grades. An intermediate
option is to permit school divisions to hire a Board-licensed position to
provide the intervention required for the Early Intervention Reading
Initiative (EIRI), a Lottery-funded program outside of the SOQ. School divisions could hire a reading
specialist within the scope of the EIRI program. The use of the specialist to provide
remedial services would allow for efficiency and flexibility for school
divisions delivering services to the K-3 population and would integrate
the EIRI with the SOQ.
- Recommendation 3: Mathematics
Specialist. The third
intermediate option relates to the recommendation of one mathematics
specialist for every 1,000 students in grades K-8, and is an option
similar to that of the reading specialist.
This option would link Algebra Readiness Intervention (ARI)
initiative to the SOQ by permitting school divisions to hire mathematics
specialists as another option to provide the required intervention within
the scope of the ARI program, which serves grades 6 to 8. The ARI is another Lottery-funded
program that resides outside of the SOQ.
- Recommendation 4: Instruction to English Language Learners
(ELL). To supplement the services provided to
students identified with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), school
divisions should be allowed to use funds from the SOQ Prevention,
Intervention, and Remediation account to hire additional ELL teachers to
provide instruction. This funding
would supplement the instructional services provided by the current SOQ
staffing standard of 17 per 1,000 LEP students.
intermediate SOQ options offer mechanisms that promote flexibility while not
requiring any additional state or local funding. The Board intends to request approval and
full funding of its staffing requirements beginning in the next biennium.
If you have
questions or need additional information, please contact Anne Wescott,
assistant superintendent for policy and communications, at Anne.Wescott@doe.virginia.gov
or by telephone at (804) 225-2403.
a. Board of Education's Recommendations for the Standards of Quality (PDF)