P.O. BOX 2120

August 3, 2001

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Nominations for Alternate Assessment Standard Setting Committees

In September 2001, standard setting committees of Virginia educators will convene to recommend to the Virginia Board of Education "passing scores" for the alternate assessment program at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Using data from the spring 2001 alternate assessment administration, committee members will make recommendations regarding two passing scores for each assessment: (1) a score that students must attain to be proficient and (2) a score that must be obtained for a student to be considered advanced.

The purpose of this memorandum is to solicit nominations from school division superintendents for local educators to serve on these committees. Nominees should be teachers or curriculum specialists with knowledge of the alternate assessment program and experience with students that typically participate in this assessment program.

Four committees, two at the elementary level and one each at the middle school and high school levels, will meet for two days in Richmond, Virginia. The elementary committees will meet on September 1819 and the middle and high school committees will meet on September 20-21. A list of the committees and an application form to be completed by the nominee and signed by the division superintendent is attached. Mileage, meals, and lodging will be reimbursed for all participants. Participants not under contract during the days of the meetings will receive a $50 per day stipend.

Selection of committee members will take into consideration geographic distribution, ethnic/racial balance, and experience with the needs of the students who may be eligible to participate in alternate assessment activities.

Once the standard setting committees have completed their work, recommendations regarding passing scores will be provided to the Board of Education which will make a final determination about the minimum scores required for the proficient level and for the advanced level. After the board makes these decisions, the alternate assessment score reports from the spring 2001 administration will be prepared showing the scores for the students, schools, school divisions, and the state in terms of the achievement levels.

Questions about nominating educators for the standard setting committees or about the standard setting process in general should be directed to Sharon Siler, Division of Instructional Support Services at (804) 225-2711 or

Gordon Trump, Division of Assessment and Reporting at (804) 225-2919.