P. O. BOX 2120
July 25, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Limited Fall Field Test for the Standards of Learning Assessment

  It has become necessary to conduct a limited field test in
  certain content areas in the fall of 1997 in order to have
  sufficient items for the Standards of Learning tests in the
  spring of 1998.  We regret this intrusion into your academic
  program but have no other choice in order to have a pool of
  quality items from which to select for the 1998 operational
  test of the Standards of Learning Assessments.  

  Enclosed you will find information indicating the schools
  that have been selected for the field test and the target
  number of students in each school, number of packets of
  field test booklets, and the content areas that will be
  field tested.  It should be noted that this is a limited
  field test and not all students are participating and not
  all schools are included in the field test.  It is a random
  sample allowing us to test the minimum number of students
  necessary statewide to produce credible field test results.

  This information has also been sent to your division
  director of testing along with a more detailed listing of
  activities that will precede the field test itself.  We have
  received a great deal of feedback regarding the spring 1997
  field test, and we have incorporated many of the suggestions
  made by members of your staff to minimize the intrusion of
  this field test.  We appreciate your cooperation in allowing
  your schools to participate and look forward to conducting
  this field with a minimum amount of intrusion.  

  If there are any questions regarding the field test, please
  feel free to contact Cameron Harris, Assistant
  Superintendent, Division of Assessment and Reporting, or
  anyone on her staff at (804) 225-2102.


  Enclosures:  A hard copy of this memo and its enclosure
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.