P. O. BOX 2120

December 19, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Action by the Board of Education, Relative to the 1998 General Assembly Session, to Phase out the Literacy Passport Testing Program

At the Board of Education meeting on December 16th, the State Board 
of Education authorized the Department, on behalf of the Board, to
forward to the Governor's office a legislative packet that would
phase out the Literacy Passport Test program (LPT).  Consequently,
legislation will be introduced during the 1998 General Assembly
that will phase out the LPT. 

NOTE: The Literacy Passport Testing program cannot be phased out 
without legislative action.  You should not take any action
related to phasing out of the program until you have been
notified by the Department, which will not occur until the
conclusion of the 1998 General Assembly. 

The key components of the proposal approved for potential legislative
action are as follows:

First: Amend  22.1-253.13:3 E. and 22.1-253.13:4 A. To begin phasing 
out of the Literacy Passport Testing program in synchronization
with implementation of the new graduation requirements in the
Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public
Schools in Virginia. 

Second: Amend  22.-1-253.13:3 H. to add the Standards of Learning
Assessments to the list of assessments that local school boards
are required to administer. 

Third: Amend   22.-1-253.13: 4 E. to eliminate the term literacy
to describe the tests prescribed by the Board that are required
in order to earn a diploma. 

Under this proposal, the LPT would continue to be administered
for all students graduating prior to 2004 and those students would
be required to pass the tests in order to receive a standard or
advanced studies diploma.  The LPT program would remain in place 
until the students have received their diplomas.  Students in the
class of 2004 (the sixth grade class in school year 1997-98)
would take the LPT; however, the results from the test would 
only be used for remediation purposes and not for graduation or
grade classification requirements.  Beginning with the Class of
2005 (the 6th grade class in school year 1998-99) the LPT would
not be administered. 

The table below depicts how the LPT would be phased out.  The test 
would be administered in the summer, fall, and spring of each
school year for the grade level of students as represented by
the X.  Beginning with the Class of 2005 (the 6th grade class in
school year 1998-99) the LPT would not be administered. 

School   Grade  Grade  Grade  Grade  Grade  Adults  Returning to
 Year                                               Uppgrade to
           8      9      10     11     12            a Diploma 
1998-99    X      X       X      X      X      X          X
1999-00           X       X      X      X      X          X
2000-01                   X      X      X      X          X
2001-02                          X      X      X          X
2002-03                                 X      X          X
2003-04                                        X          X
2004-05                                        X          X
2005-06                                        X          X

If you have any questions concerning the legislative proposal to 
phase out of the LPT you should contact Diane T. Atkinson, 
Principal Policy Analyst at (804) 371-0035.