P. O. BOX 2120
July 16, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Professional Teacher's Assessment for Licensure

  Beginning teachers in Virginia are required to take and
  pass a professional teacher's assessment for licensure as
  prescribed by the Board of Education.  Since July 1,
  1996, Virginia has required Praxis I (Reading, Writing,
  and Mathematics) and an appropriate specialty
  area/subject assessment for initial licensure.  

  The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has developed new
  subject assessments for Praxis II.  During its June 24,
  1999, meeting,  the Board of Education approved cut
  scores for 16 Praxis II specialty area tests, effective
  July 1, 1999.  The  assessments include the core academic
  areas (English, social studies, mathematics, and the
  sciences), art, music, foreign language, and vocational
  education areas.  Attached for your information is a list
  of the tests required in Virginia effective July 1, 1999. 
  Virginia teachers, teacher educators, and central office
  personnel participated in the validation and standard-setting
  studies for these Praxis II tests guided by
  representatives from the Educational Testing Service. 
  A study was also conducted to ensure that the Praxis II
  tests matched the competencies set forth in the Licensure
  Regulations for School Personnel, effective July 1, 1998.

  Passing scores on either currently required tests
  (National Teacher Examinations specialty area tests) or
  the newly-approved tests (Praxis II subject content
  tests) will be accepted for licensure through September
  30, 2000.  Individuals applying for licensure after that
  date must submit passing scores on the new tests. An 
  individual issued a provisional license may take and pass
  the subject area assessment indicated when the license
  was issued or take and pass the new test. The test must
  be taken during the validity period of the license.

  Additional Praxis II tests are anticipated to be required
  for elementary education, special education core
  principles, health and physical education, middle school
  language arts, middle school mathematics, middle school
  science, middle school social studies, and school leaders
  (administration and supervision).  A reading module is
  also being considered for early education, elementary
  education, middle education, special education, and
  English as a Second Language.  Information will be
  disseminated regarding the use of these new tests in
  Virginia upon their availability by the Educational
  Testing Service and approval by the Board of Education.

  Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Thomas A. Elliott,
  Assistant Superintendent, Division of Teacher Education
  and Licensure, at (804) 371-2522 if you have any
  questions regarding the professional teacher's


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

  c: College and University Deans and Department Chairs
     School Division Licensure Contacts