P.O. BOX 2120

May 11, 2001

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Additional Substitute Tests Approved for Verified Credit

The Board of Education, at its April 26 meeting, approved additional tests that may be used for the purpose of awarding verified credit in accordance with the following provisions of Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia.

…The Board may from time to time approve additional tests for the purpose of awarding verified credit. Such additional tests, which enable students to earn verified units of credit, must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria:
    1. The test must be standardized and graded independently of the school or school division in which the test is given;
    2. The test must be knowledge-based;
    3. The test must be administered on a multi-state or international basis; and
    4. To be counted in a specific academic area, the test must measure content that incorporates or exceeds the SOL content in the course for which verified credit is given. (8 VAC 20-131-110.B)
…A student may utilize additional assessments for earning verified credit in computer science, technology, or other areas as prescribed by the Board in 8 VAC 20-131-110.B. (8 VAC 20-131-50.B.4, Footnote 5 and C.2, Footnote 5) Attachment A to this memo displays all tests approved as SOL substitute tests for verified credit and student-selected tests for verified credit. The additional tests adopted at the Board of Education meeting in April 2001 are marked with an asterisk. The newly adopted tests are available as substitutes beginning in the school year 2001-02. Cut scores have not yet been established for the Cambridge, ACT, and WorkKeys substitute tests. As soon as those cut scores have been approved by the Board of Education, they will be forwarded to you.

Additionally, the Accountability Advisory Committee approved a procedure for school divisions to nominate additional substitute tests for consideration. This procedure and associated forms may be found in Attachment B. Please note that the approved timeline calls for additional substitute tests to be nominated by February 15 of the school year prior to the tests being used. A school division must have used the tests within the school division for at least one school year.

Should you have tests you would like the Department of Education to consider for the 2001-02 school year, please complete the nomination form and fax it as soon as possible to Dr. Patricia I. Wright, assistant superintendent for instruction. The fax number is (804) 786-5828. We are aware that this is beyond the stated timeline, but we will work to move any tests nominated prior to June 1 quickly through the review and approval process for use in 2001-02.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Dr. Wright ( at (804) 225-2979 or Cameron M. Harris, assistant superintendent, division of assessment and reporting ( at (804) 225-2102.