P. O. BOX 2120
April 2, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Review of Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests by School Divisions
We have had several questions regarding the ability of 
instructional staff to view the SOL tests.  While the 
nature of the SOL testing program makes the tests subject 
to a high level of security, it is important that 
teachers charged with the responsibility of instructing 
students in the SOL be aware of the manner in which tests 
are constructed and the manner in which questions are 
asked.  It is permissible for SOL tests to be viewed by 
school division teachers and central office staff if the 
attached security arrangements are made.  It is 
imperative that these security procedures be followed and 
closely monitored by the division staff charged with 
testing responsibilities.  The Department of Education is 
taking a strict stance regarding the use of proper test 
security procedures related to the SOL testing program.  

Division superintendents may also arrange for their 
school boards to review these tests during this time.  It 
is not necessary to seek Department of Education 
permission for local school board review.  All security 
measures that are to be used for the review by the 
instructional staff must be used in the review by local 
boards.  Should you have requests from parents or other 
persons, such requests must be submitted in writing and 
will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  Division 
personnel should review this memo and accompanying documents to
be aware of these changes from previously  communicated
information.  Your request(s) should be  addressed to Cameron M.
Harris, Assistant Superintendent  for Assessment and Reporting,
Virginia Department of  Education.  You may fax your request(s) to
(804) 371- 8978.

If you have questions regarding these procedures, please 
do not hesitate to call the Division of Assessment and 
Reporting at (804) 225-2102.  


Attachment:     A hard copy of this memo and its attach-
                will be sent to the superintendent's