Superintendent’s Memo #089-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

April 10, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Discontinuation of State Level Review of Foreign Language Textbooks

On March 26, 2015, the Virginia Board of Education voted to discontinue the state level review of foreign language textbooks for this review cycle.  The previous list of approved textbooks from 2005 has been removed and will not be replaced.

In accordance with the Code of Virginia, §22.1-238, Local school divisions may continue to adopt foreign language textbooks using the Guidelines for Local Textbook Approval available on the Web at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/guidance/administration_governance/local_textbook_guidelines.pdf

The review process includes a correlation with the Standards of Learning and a review of strengths and weaknesses in instructional planning and support.  Additionally, the publisher of the textbook should certify the accuracy of the content of the textbook and sign an agreement to correct all factual and editing errors found in a textbook, at its expense.  Finally, the publisher should certify that the books meet other requirements of the Code of Virginia related to textbooks.

Sample Foreign Language Correlation Report Forms for use in the local review process will be available on the Foreign Language Textbook Web page at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/textbooks/foreign_language/index.shtml by April 30, 2015.

In addition, Virginia has entered into an agreement with a Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) contractor to develop and pilot a statewide digital textbook marketplace using a technology portal where divisions can go to purchase digital textbooks and other digital learning resources. The VITA contractor is Copia (http://www.copiaedu.com/), that is currently working with publishers of foreign language textbooks to include their materials in the pilot program.  The use of the marketplace is voluntary, and divisions will not pay a fee to use it.

If you have questions about the information provided in this memorandum, please contact the following Department of Education staff members as indicated:

SRS/LAH/vdg