P. O. BOX 2120
June 11, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Important Change in SOL Test Reporting Category Scaled Scores
The purpose of this memo is to inform you of an important 
change in the way student performance will be presented 
for the reporting categories of the Standards of Learning 
(SOL) assessments. This change, effective with the spring 
1999 SOL score reports, will aid in interpreting student 
performance on the reporting categories. 

In the spring and fall of 1998 test administrations, 
student performance on each SOL reporting category was 
reported on a scale having a mean score of 35 and a 
standard deviation of 7. Raw scores of zero corresponded 
to scaled scores of zero and the spring 1998 state mean 
raw score on each reporting category was set to a scaled 
score of 35. As you have made clear, a major disadvantage 
of this scaled score model is that it is difficult for 
educators to determine in what areas remediation efforts 
should be targeted.

Beginning with the spring 1999 SOL score reports, a 
different scaled score model will be used. Student 
performance will be reported on a scale ranging from 0 to 
50, with a scaled score of 30 on each reporting category 
representing approximately the level of achievement 
necessary to attain a proficient score on the total test. 
Raw scores of zero will again correspond to scaled scores 
of zero, and perfect scores in a reporting category will 
correspond to scaled scores of 50. Students with 
reporting category scaled scores below 30 may need
additional instruction in those content areas.

Please note that the scaled scores for the total test 
will remain the same.

As was the case with scaled scores in the spring and fall 
of 1998, the reporting category scaled scores are derived 
independently from the total test scaled scores. That is, 
both total test and reporting category scaled scores are 
derived from raw scores. Total test scaled scores are not 
derived from reporting category scaled scores. 
Consequently, reporting category scaled scores on a 
particular test cannot be summed and directly applied to 
the total test scaled score. The following example of 
legitimate scores from the SOL High School writing test 
illustrates this situation.

STUDENT          | Plan, compose, | Edit for        | 
NAME             | and revise in  | correct use of  |       
                 | a variety of   | language,       |     
SCORES           | forms for a    | capitalization, | TOTALS
                 | variety of     | punctuation,    |     
                 | purposes.      | and spelling.   |
SMITH, JUANITA   |    30          |     30          | 396
Scaled Score     |                |                 | FAIL/DOES 
                 |                |                 | NOT MEET
                 |                |                 |    
SULLIVAN, EDWARD |    29          |     31          | 402
Scaled Score     |                |                 | PASS/
                 |                |                 | PROFICIENT

As shown in the example, you may also find in a small 
number of cases that a student has earned scaled scores 
of 30 in each reporting category and a total scaled score 
slightly below 400. Please bear in mind that the 
reporting category scaled scores of 30 represent 
approximations of the level of achievement required to 
pass the total test and are intended to assist teachers 
in targeting instruction.

Questions regarding this change should be directed to the 
Division of Assessment and Reporting at (804) 225-2102.