Superintendent’s Memo #064-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

March 8, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Standards of Learning (SOL) Test Security

A number of school divisions have contacted student assessment staff at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) with questions regarding Standards of Learning (SOL) test security and appropriate test procedures for monitoring students during SOL testing. It has become evident that individuals who are not directly associated with SOL test administration procedures such as school division instructional specialists or external consultants may not be aware of the requirements of the SOL Test Security Guidelines and Test Security Agreement.

Specifically, it has been reported that misinformed individuals may be encouraging test examiners and proctors to review secure SOL test items while monitoring students taking SOL tests. As explained in the 2012-2013 Test Security Guidelines and Test Security Agreement, any individual with access to the SOL assessments, including examiners and proctors, are explicitly prohibited from reviewing, taking notes, copying, printing, photographing, or divulging the content of SOL test items to anyone.

All division-level and school-level leaders are encouraged to be familiar with the SOL Test Security Guidelines and Test Security Agreement and to remind school personnel responsible for administering SOL tests to review and ensure that they understand these documents prior to signing the Test Security Agreement and administering SOL tests to students. These documents and the SOL Test Implementation Manual should serve as the primary sources of information regarding appropriate policies and procedures for administering SOL tests and monitoring SOL test sessions.  The Test Security Guidelines and Test Security Agreement are available online in Appendix A of the Spring 2013 Writing Test Implementation Manual or the Spring 2013 Non-Writing Test Implementation Manual at the following address: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/test_administration/index.shtml.

School divisions should seek guidance from VDOE student assessment staff before acting on information that appears to be in conflict with details provided in the SOL Test Security Guidelines, Test Security Agreement, Test Implementation Manuals or other VDOE assessment communications. Consequences for not adhering to proper test security procedures can include personnel action, teaching license suspension or revocation, and potential civil penalties.

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact student assessment staff at student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.

PIW/SLR/cb