Superintendent’s Memo #081-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

March 30, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Passing Scores Adopted by the Board of Education for the New Grades 3-8 Mathematics Tests Based on the 2009 Standards of Learning

On March 22, 2012, the Virginia Board of Education adopted passing scores for the new grades 3-8 mathematics tests that measure the 2009 Standards of Learning (SOL).  New “cut scores,” which are expressed in the number of items a student must answer correctly to achieve a certain level of proficiency, were adopted for the achievement levels of fail/basic, pass/proficient, and pass/advanced.

The passing scores for each of the new grades 3-8 mathematics tests are shown below:

Test Fail/Basic Pass/Proficient Pass/Advanced
Grade 3 Mathematics 16 out of 40 26 out of 40 36 out of 40
Grade 4 Mathematics 17 out of 50 31 out of 50 45 out of 50
Grade 5 Mathematics 18 out of 50 31 out of 50 45 out of 50
Grade 6 Mathematics 16 out of 50 28 out of 50 45 out of 50
Grade 7 Mathematics 17 out of 50 31 out of 50 45 out of 50
Grade 8 Mathematics 17 out of 50 31 out of 50 46 out of 50

These cut scores have been communicated to Pearson, Virginia’s testing contractor, so that the work necessary to implement these cut scores and report the results of the new grades 3-8 mathematics tests administered in spring 2012 can begin.  It is important to remember that the cut scores listed above apply only to the test form that was reviewed by the standard setting committee.  Other forms of the grades 3-8 mathematics tests will be statistically equated to the “standard setting” test form to ensure that the same level of achievement is required of all students taking a test for a particular grade level.  As a result of the equating process, the number of items a student is required to answer correctly for a particular grade level may fluctuate slightly.

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff at Student_Assessment@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2102.

PIW/SLR/aw