Establishing the Standards of Learning Test Advisory Committee (Memorandum of Understanding)
Resolution Number 1999-4
April 28, 1999
WHEREAS, on October 28, 1998, the Virginia Board of Education (the "Board") authorized its President to establish and appoint an advisory committee to convene and give advice and recommendations, from time to time, to the Board concerning the implementation and operation of the Standards of Learning Testing Program (the "Program"); and
WHEREAS, the President of the Board hereby presents this Resolution for the Board's consideration in order to establish a standing committee of the Board entitled the STANDARDS OF LEARNING TEST ADVISORY COMMITTEE (the "Committee") to meet and operate within the scope of its authority and duties stated below.
ARTICLE ONE: PURPOSE
The Committee is hereby established as a standing committee of the Board for the sole purpose of advising and making recommendations to the Board on ways and means of improving the Program, from time to time, as the Committee deems appropriate. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Resolution, the Committee shall have the authority to review all procedures and operations of the Program. The Committee Co-Chairmen will present all recommendations to the Board at appropriate times during regular meetings of the Board. In addition, the Committee shall file an annual report to the Board. The Board has also established an advisory panel of test experts ("Test Experts Committee") to collect psychometric reliability and validity data from each test administration of the Program and to advise the Board on all matters concerning professional testing data from the Program. As such, the Committee will not have the authority to conduct, advise or otherwise act on matters pertaining to the Program's reliability and validity test data and instead, shall refer all such matters to the Test Experts Committee. Also, there are currently in existence, content review committees, comprised of teachers, educators and testing experts, to review all matters concerning the content of the tests offered in the Program. As such, the Committee shall not act on matters of content, but shall refer all such matters to the applicable content review committee with such information and comment as it deems appropriate. The Committee agrees that it will act only within the scope of authority expressly stated in this Resolution. All Committee members acknowledge, by virtue of their service on the Committee, that their authority with respect to the SOL testing process is limited to the matters expressly stated in Article 1 of this Resolution. All Committee members also acknowledge, by virtue of their service on the Committee, their basic support for the Program and commitment to making the Program as productive and successful as possible.
ARTICLE TWO: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Composition. The Committee shall consist of twenty-one (21) members and two Committee Co-Chairmen. All initial members of the Committee and the Committee Co-Chairmen shall be appointed by the President of the Board and thereafter, all subsequent vacancies and appointments shall be made by the Board.
Section 2. Term of Membership. Every appointment to the Committee shall be for a term of three years, except that the initial appointments shall be established in three equal groups of members with an initial term of one year, two years and three years respectively in order to establish three separate classes of members with varied terms. No member of the Board shall be appointed to more than two consecutive three-year terms. Any member of the Committee may be removed by the Board, at any time, with or without cause.
ARTICLE THREE: MEETINGS
Section 1. Regular Meetings. The Committee shall adopt a tentative schedule for regular meetings for each applicable calendar year. Such schedule shall be subject to the change, alteration or adjustment by the Co-Chairmen, as they deem appropriate; to accommodate the operation of the Committee as is necessary.
Section 2. Special Meetings. A special meeting of members may be called by the Co-Chairmen in their sole discretion or upon the written request to the Co-Chairmen by eight or more members of the Committee. No business other than that specified in the notice of the meeting shall be transacted at any special meeting of the Committee.
Section 3. Place of Meetings. All meetings of the Committee shall be held Richmond, Virginia, in order to accommodate the accessibility of data and information from the Virginia Department of Education.
Section 4. Adjournment. Any duly called meeting of the Committee may be adjourned to a later time and place, determined by the Committee members present at such meeting, whether such members constitute a quorum for transaction of business, provided that such time and place are announced at the meeting, and no other notice of the adjourned meeting shall be required.
Section 5. Voting Proxies. At meetings of the Committee, all members present shall be entitled to exercise voting rights on all matters. Members not present at a meeting shall not be entitled to vote by proxy.
Section 6. Notices of Meetings. Written notice stating the place, day and hour of any meeting of the members, and, in case of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be given not less than 10 days before the date of the meeting by or at the direction of the Co-Chairmen. A notice shall be deemed duly given to a Committee member when it is: (1) adopted by the Committee as part of its tentative regular meeting schedule and is not subsequently changed or altered or (2) delivered in person or mailed, postage-prepaid, to the address of such Committee member as it appears on the records of the Committee or (3) when it is sent via telecopier or electronic mail transmission to the telecopier number or electronic mail address of such Committee member, and the sender has received a confirmation message that such transmission has been received.
Section 7. Voting and Quorum. Each member of the Committee shall be entitled to one vote with respect to each matter voted on by the Committee. A majority of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Except as expressly provided otherwise in this Resolution, the vote of a majority of the Committee members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Committee.
Section 8. Conflict of Interest. In any case where a member shall have a personal interest in a particular vote of the Committee, such member(s) shall excuse themselves from the vote of the Committee thereon.
Section 9. Waiver. Whenever any notice is required to be given under the provisions of law or this Resolution, a written waiver thereof, signed by the person or persons entitled to such notice and filed with the records of the meeting, whether before or after the time stated therein, shall be conclusively deemed to be equivalent to such notice. In addition, any member who attends a meeting of the Committee without protesting at the commencement of the meeting such lack of notice shall be conclusively deemed to have waived notice of such meeting.
ARTICLE FOUR: EXECUTIVE SESSIONS
The Committee may decide to go into executive session at any of its meetings in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prior to meeting in an executive session, the Committee must adopt a motion to go into executive session. The Committee shall discuss only matters in an executive session as specified by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act or other applicable law. The Committee may take no final action on any item in executive session. At the conclusion of any executive session, the Committee must reconvene in public session and take a vote of the membership to come out of executive session.
ARTICLE FIVE: PROCEEDINGS OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
All proceeding of the Committee meetings shall be as prescribed by Roberts Rules of Order.
ARTICLE SIX: AGENDA FOR MEETING
The Committee will have a published agenda for all regularly scheduled public meetings as set forth by the Committee Co-Chairmen.
ARTICLE SEVEN: COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRMEN
Section 1. Committee Co-Chairmen. The initial Co-Chairmen of the Committee shall be appointed by the President of the Board and thereafter, upon any expiration of term or vacancy of such positions, by the Board. It is the intent of the Board to have one Co-Chairman be an active professional educator in the Commonwealth and the other Co-Chairman be a present or past member of the Board or any other citizen of the Commonwealth. The Co-Chairmen shall each have individual voting rights on all matters before the Committee. However, the Co-Chairmen shall act in unanimous agreement and consent on all matters in the execution and carrying out of their joint office. No Co-Chairman can act on any matter pertaining to this joint office without the consent of the other Co-Chairman. The Co-Chairmen shall preside over meetings of the Committee and shall have all powers and duties as necessary to fulfill the role of chief executive of the Committee and its presiding officer and as may be, from time to time, conferred or prescribed by the Committee. The Co-Chairmen shall exercise supervision and direction over the Committee's goals and affairs and discharge all duties generally pertaining to such joint office as the Executive head of an organization of this character subject to the control of the Committee members.
Section 2. Other Officers. Additional officers may, in the discretion of the Committee, be elected from time to time to perform such duties and undertake such functions as designated by the Committee.
ARTICLE EIGHT: COMMITTEE OPERATIONS
Section 1. Official Papers. All official records of the Committee shall be kept on file in the Department of Education and shall be open to inspection.
Section 2. Test Security. The Committee and it members, at all times, shall conduct the highest standard of operation with respect the maintenance of all test security and other matters of a sensitive or proprietary nature with respect to all aspects of the Program.
Section 3. Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is hereby directed to provide all necessary staff support to the Committee in order to fulfill its duties herein.
ARTICLE NINE: AMENDMENTS
This Resolution may be altered, amended or repealed only by the Board after a first and final review has been completed in two separate meetings. The preceding requirement of a first and final review in two separate meetings may not be waived by the Board, unless such waiver is approved by every member of the Board.
ARTICLE TEN: MISCELLANEOUS
Section 1. Addresses. The addresses and/or telephone numbers used in any notice given under this Resolution shall be those appearing on the books of the Committee, and it shall be the individual member's responsibility to insure that the Virginia Department of Education has the correct address.
Section 2. Roberts Rules. Except as otherwise stated herein, all meetings of the Committee shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order.
Section 3. Gender. All personal pronouns used in this Resolution, whether used in the masculine, feminine, or neuter gender, shall include all other genders, the singular shall include the plural, and vice versa, as the context may require.
Section 4. Copy to All Members. The Board hereby directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide all Committee members with current copy of these Bylaws and all amendments thereto.
Original signed by Mrs. Jennifer Byler and
Dr. Mark Edwards, Co-chairs
Adopted in the Minutes of the Virginia Board of Education
April 28, 1999