P.O. BOX 2120



November 12, 2004



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



2005 Spring Reading and Mathematics Field Tests


The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation requires that students in grades 3-8 be assessed annually in reading and mathematics. To meet this requirement, new Standards of Learning tests are being developed for grades 4, 6, and 7. Implementation of these new tests will begin in the 2005-2006 school year.


Preparation for the new tests includes the development of test item banks for reading and mathematics in grades 4, 6, and 7. To develop these item banks, the Department of Education will again conduct field tests of new test items. The testing window for the reading and mathematics field tests is May 9-27, 2005.


All divisions are invited to participate in these field tests. Please note the following:


         The mathematics field tests will be based on the 2001 Mathematics Standards of Learning.

         The reading field tests will be based on the 2002 English: Reading Standards of Learning.

         All reading and mathematics field tests will be offered in both testing methods: (1) paper and pencil tests and (2) online tests. Divisions interested in offering the field tests online must have completed their School Readiness Certification for all participating schools by April 15, 2005.

         Divisions electing to participate may be allocated a maximum number of students who can be tested. To meet the requirements of the state sampling plan, we may not be able to accommodate all students in large divisions.

         Examiner manuals, school test coordinator manuals, division director of testing manuals, and an online supplement will be provided.

         Student scores will not be provided, and no school reports will be produced.

         Blueprints for the new tests have been drafted and will be reviewed by SOL Content Review Committees.

         Division directors of testing will serve as the contact persons for the Department of Education, Harcourt Assessment, Inc., and Pearson Educational Measurement.

         Paper and pencil and online field-testing will be conducted during the testing window, May 9-27, 2005.


School divisions interested in participating in these field tests must complete a Request to Participate in 2005 Spring Reading and Mathematics Field Tests Internet survey. On December 15, 2004, each division director of testing (DDOT) will receive an e-mail containing an Internet address to provide access the survey. Each division will be asked if it wishes to participate, and those that respond yes will be asked to provide preliminary information for specific schools such as testing dates, method of testing, grade levels, content area(s), and approximate number of students. Responses to the survey are due by January 14, 2005.


Any questions regarding the Internet survey or the reading and mathematics field tests should be directed to the Division of Assessment and Reporting at (804) 225-2102 or