P.O. BOX 2120
June 15, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: The Linkage SystemÓProject Involving Standards of Learning and Career and Technical Education

The Department of Education is starting the third year of a curriculum project entitled The Linkage SystemÓ . The project is ongoing in that curriculum and standards are an ever-evolving process. The focus of the project is to crosswalk all the new and/or revised career and technical education competencies with the latest version of the Standards of Learning. Throughout the project, our goal is to attain higher academic performance for all students and help to prepare them for careers. The educational products available for the project highlight the academic standards that are reinforced in career and technical education. Those products are a Web tool and database that contain the completed crosswalks, and curriculum frameworks that reflect the outcomes of the crosswalks for a specific discipline.

In June 1999, approximately 30 English, mathematics, and science teachers analyzed the Standards of Learning to identify the applicable Taxonomy* skills and establish a state content standards database "crosswalk". Since June 1999, the project has crosswalked the Taxonomy academic skills with 133 career and technical education courses. Fifty-nine school divisions have provided academic teachers for the Virginia Department.

As we continue to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the process, academic instructors will be asked to work hand-in-hand with career and technical instructors to update and add to the Virginia Linkages database. The Office of Career and Technical Education Services needs to update the database of academic instructors permitted to participate in The Linkage SystemÓproject.

We are asking you to respond to one of two requests. First, if your school division wishes to have any or all of your currently approved teachers replaced by new teachers from your system, that can be done in response to this memorandum. Second, your school division may not currently be working with us on the project and would like to be part of the process. A response to this memorandum will provide that opportunity.

To expand the academic teacher database, we are asking nonparticipating school divisions to submit the names of three high school instructors in each of the following subjects - English, mathematics, and science - for the Department of Education to contact to participate in the project. It is recognized that some school divisions will not be able to provide a total of nine preapproved names because of limited staff and these divisions should respond according to their size. Enclosed is a list of the school divisions that have participated in the project for the last two years.

The Linkage SystemÓreimbursement policy is as follows:

Tolls, mileage at the local rate or the current state rate of $.325 per mile (whichever is lower), parking, meals, and double occupancy lodging at the state-approved rate, and reimbursement for a teacher substitute, when needed. Each participating teacher will be paid $100 per day, if off contract, during the summers and/or on weekends. It is anticipated that The Linkage SystemÓproject activities will be year round. The updating of the database will allow us to limit the use of teachers away from the classroom. We will strive to limit the use of a teacher to one or two times per school year.

A response form (reproducible) for English, mathematics, and science instructors is enclosed. Please forward this memo and its enclosure to the appropriate persons in your division. The forms should be returned by July 6, 2001 to:

Sharron K. Glasscock
Virginia Department of Education
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120

Thank you for your attention to this request. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Neils W. Brooks, 804-225-2847, e-mail or Sharron K. Glasscock, 804-225-2826, e-mail


Enclosures The Linkage SystemÓProject Agreement
V-TECS Linkage SystemÓ Overview
Linkage School Divisions
C: Career and Technical Education Administrator

*The Arizona Basic/Essential Skills Taxonomy (1989), now known as Snyder's Taxonomy of Academic Skill Indicators (the Taxonomy), was developed by Dr. Lester Snyder at Arizona State University. The taxonomy was validated by 18 V-TECS member states using a rigorous review process to verify the accuracy of the academic content. The taxonomy was designed as an analysis tool that would provide a common, unambiguous academic vocabulary to analyze text and other curricular materials.