Superintendent's Memo #017-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

January 21, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia's College and Career Ready English Performance Expectations English Capstone Course Information, & Related English Professional Development Opportunity

Over the last three years, the Virginia Department of Education, with its agency partners, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), has been working on the Virginia College and Career Readiness Initiative to improve high school graduates' preparation for postsecondary education and careers. The Department is pleased to share additional information on the initiative and an exciting grant opportunity to help implement Virginia's College and Career Ready English Performance Expectations (EPE) in school divisions.

Through a cooperative effort with SCHEV and the VCCS, Virginia has identified college and career readiness performance expectations aligned to state, national, and international English college and career readiness standards. The performance expectations define the level of achievement students must reach to be academically prepared for success in entry-level, credit-bearing, college courses in English and mathematics. The performance expectations were developed using the English Standards of Learning and other validated state and national college and career readiness standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

On November 18, 2010, Virginia's College and Career Ready English Performance Expectations were accepted by the Virginia Board of Education as part of a report on Virginia's College and Career Readiness Initiative. The report can be found at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/meetings/2010/11_nov/agenda_items/item_t.pdf, and the English Performance Expectations (EPE) can be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/college_career_readiness/expectations/perf_expectations_english.pdf.  Additional information, announcements, and research related to this initiative can be found at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/college_career_readiness/index.shtml.

The Department of Education is moving forward with this initiative by encouraging school divisions to begin planning for and piloting an English capstone course based on the EPE. The English capstone course is intended for 12th-grade students who have passed English 11 and the end-of-courseStandards of Learning reading and writing assessments but have not demonstrated sufficient content mastery in reading, writing, and/or communicating to support a strong likelihood of postsecondary educational success. The capstone course is not a substitute for English 12 and provides an English elective credit only. The new English course code is 1176 and will become active in May 2011. A course description and additional information about the English capstone course content is attached to this memorandum and found on the Department's College and Career Readiness Initiative Web page.

To support this initiative, SCHEV, through its Title II, Part A, Improving Teacher Quality State Grant, has established as a priority intensive professional development for English teachers on the Virginia's College and Career Ready English Performance Expectations 2011-2012 request for proposals (RFP). The maximum amount awarded will not exceed $200,000 per partnership. SCHEV will award approximately ten (10) competitive grants to partnerships. These grants are available to partnerships comprised of, at a minimum:

Additional participants of an eligible partnership may also include:

The State Council's Title II, Part A, Improving Teacher Quality State Grant RFP can be found at Web site www.schev.edu under "Popular Links."

The Department encourages the formation of multi-partner regional consortia of school divisions and institutions of higher education to take advantage of this professional development opportunity. Interested school divisions should contact their local colleges and universities to determine if regional partnerships' proposals are being planned.

For more information about the English performance expectations and the capstone course, please contact Tracy Robertson, English coordinator, Office of Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction, by e-mail at Tracy.Robertson@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 371-7585. Questions about SCHEV's Title II, Part A, Improving Teacher Quality State Grant RFP should be addressed to Darlene Derricott, director of academic services, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, by e-mail at DarleneDerricott@schev.edu or by telephone at (804) 225-2621.

PIW/JF/ce

Attachment:

  1. Grade-12 Capstone Content (PDF)