P.O. BOX 2120



March 29, 2002



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Resolution on State Adoption of Textbook and Instructional Materials/Status of Reading Adoption


The purpose of this memorandum is to (a) inform school divisions of a March 27, 2002, Virginia Board of Education resolution on state textbook adoption, (b) announce the status of the current K-5 reading/language arts textbook review process, and (c) communicate a revised textbook adoption schedule. In 1991, the Board of Education adopted a resolution delegating its authority for textbook adoption to the superintendent of public instruction. Since 1995 the Department of Education has worked with state committees to review and evaluate publishers submissions primarily with respect to Standards of Learning (SOL) correlation. Following each review, the Department of Education provided school divisions with a list of the instructional materials submitted and a profile of each submission that included the degree of correlation with the Standards of Learning.


Resolution on State Adoption Process

At its March 27, 2002, meeting the Board of Education adopted a resolution to approve textbook and instructional materials in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, Art. VIII 5(d). This action means that in the future the Department of Education will recommend and the Board of Education will adopt an approved list of basal textbook and instructional materials for subjects being reviewed. The Department of Education will award six-year state contracts only for the materials on the boards adopted list.


Local school boards may adopt textbooks that are not on the board-approved list. In accordance with the Code of Virginia, 22.1-238, Any school board may use textbooks not approved by the Board provided the school board selects such books in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Board.


The Board of Educations Regulations Governing Textbook Adoption 8 VAC 20-220-10 et. seq. and 8 VAC 20-230-10, et. seq., prescribe procedures that are to be followed in state and local adoption processes and the kinds of materials that may be adopted. Basal textbook or basal instructional materials are terms often used to describe the types of materials described in 8 VAC 20-220-30. These materials may be print and/or electronic.


Status of Current K-5 Reading/Language Arts Adoption

The current state textbook review process for K-5 reading/language arts was initiated in 2001-2002 and the results of the review were to be announced in February 2002. In January 2002, however, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, which re-authorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). According to the USDOE, the NCLB Act will strengthen Title I accountability by requiring States to implement statewide accountability systems covering all public schools and students. These systems must be based on challenging State standards in reading and mathematics, annual testing for all students in grades 3-8, and annual statewide progress objectives ensuring that all groups of students reach proficiency within 12 years... (NCLB, Executive Summary)


To ensure that Virginia is positioned to comply with annual testing of reading in grades 3 through 8, at its March 27, 2002, meeting the Board of Education authorized these standards to be reviewed and revised by November 2002. The English Standards of Learning review will begin immediately.


Following the adoption of the revised Standards of Learning for English/reading, textbook and instructional materials will be evaluated against the revised standards. Hence, the results of the state instructional materials review for K-5 reading/language arts that just occurred will not be submitted to the board for approval or reported to school divisions. State contracts, therefore, will not be written for these materials as originally planned. The department, in consultation with the state board, has considered all of its options for the current K-5 reading/language arts review process and has decided that adopting materials based on a correlation with standards that will be out of date in eight months is not instructionally defensible.


State Textbook Adoption Review Schedule

The importance of teachers using curricula and materials that are aligned to the Standards of Learning is a major factor contributing to student achievement on the standards. To ensure that school divisions have access to textbook and instructional materials that support the Standards of Learning, state textbook adoption in a SOL subject area will be conducted one year after the standards are revised if current materials have been on the state contract for at least six years. To help school divisions with planning, the department has developed the attached textbook adoption schedule that corresponds to the Standards of Learning review schedule the Board of Education adopted at its March 27, 2002, meeting.


Textbook and instructional materials for history and social science and health education are scheduled for review and adoption in 2002-2003. Attached is a flowchart that describes the process and timeline for adopting history and social science textbooks. A similar process will be used for the adopting health textbooks. The new state adoption process for K-5 reading/language arts textbook and instructional materials will begin in 2003 with state-board approval in the fall of 2004.


If you have questions about state adoptions of textbook and instructional materials, please contact Dr. Beverly Thurston (, history/social science specialist and textbook adoption coordinator, at 804-225-2893.