P.O. BOX 2120


October 4, 2002



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Request for Nominations for the 2003 Standards of Learning Assessment Content Review Committees for New Break Apart Grade 8 History Tests


The Division of Assessment and Reporting is seeking nominations for membership on the 2003 Standards of Learning Assessment Content Review Committees for U.S. History I (to 1877), U.S. History II (1877 to the Present), and Civics and Economics. From 12-15 members are needed for each of the three content committees.


Legislation in the 2000 General Assembly required development of separate tests measuring the standards for U.S. History I, U.S. History II, and Civics and Economics. The intent of this legislation is to provide flexibility for school divisions so that they may administer the separate tests more closely to the time the content is completed. School divisions will continue to have flexibility in the grade levels at which the content is taught. It is projected that the break-out tests will be implemented in 2003-2004. This schedule will coincide with the first administration of the history tests related to the 2001 Standards of Learning. The cumulative grade 8 history test will continue to be available for school divisions to administer.


Over the next three years, a system will be phased in for recruiting and implementing an annual rotation of committee membership. An annual rotation of committee members will provide an opportunity for more teachers to contribute to the development of the Standards of Learning assessments while retaining the experience and knowledge of veteran committee members.


Committee members will be chosen based on the following criteria:


         content area expertise and experience;

         in-depth knowledge of the Standards of Learning;

         instructional/supervisory experience with students of varied learning styles, abilities, and aptitudes, including students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency; and

         balanced regional representation.


Committee members selected for the 2003 Content Review Committees for the history break-out tests will be expected to:


         make a commitment to serve a one-year term with the option to apply for a second-year term in 2004;

         sign a Non-Disclosure/Conflict of Interest Agreement;

         participate in three (2-4 day) committee meetings in Richmond scheduled the first two weeks of February and from the end of June through mid-August;

         review the Standards of Learning test forms for alignment with the test blueprints; and

         examine test items to confirm a match with the Standards of Learning and review items for appropriateness, and fairness.


Committee members will be provided the following assistance:


         reimbursement for meals and travel expenses in accordance with state travel policy and procedures;


         honorarium of $50.00/per meeting day for committee members not under contract; and

         certificate for Recertification Points.


Individuals may initiate the application process for the 2003 History break-out Content Review Committees or may be nominated. In either case, all nominees are required to submit the attached application. The applicant must provide two professional references and obtain written approval from their division superintendent.


You are invited to identify in your division one distinguished educator for each of the three history committees. Completed applications are due to the Virginia Department of Education by November 15, 2002.


If you have questions, please contact Lolita B. Hall (, associate director, Division of Assessment and Reporting at (804) 786-9422.


Thank you in advance for your continued support of this important endeavor.