P.O. BOX 2120




July 22, 2005




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Transmittal of the 2005 Standards of Quality


The Constitution of Virginia, Article VIII, requires that standards of quality be determined and prescribed by the Board of Education, subject to revision only by the General Assembly. These standards may be found at 22.1-253.13:1 through 22.1-253.13:8 of the Code of Virginia. The Code of Virginia, 22.1-18.01, requires the Board of Education to exercise its constitutional authority to determine and prescribe the standards, subject to revision only by the General Assembly, in odd-numbered years.


Each year there may be changes to the standards of quality that have been initiated by the Board of Education or the General Assembly. In order to keep you apprised of potential legislative changes, the Department of Education posts a legislative tracking report on its website during the General Assembly that contains all of the bills that affect k-12 education in the public schools, including those that would amend the standards of quality. At the conclusion of the General Assembly, a superintendents memorandum is sent to you that provides the final report for that legislative session. This year, Superintendents Memorandum No. 83, INF, was sent on April 22, 2005. The bills that affected the standards of quality were included in that memorandum.


The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with specific information regarding the changes to the Code of Virginias Standards of Quality (SOQ) that were passed by the 2005 General Assembly and codified on July 1, 2005. The revisions became effective on July 1, 2005.


Attached is a copy of a highlighted version of the SOQ that includes the changes noted in italics and deletions. Also attached is a copy of the SOQ, as amended.


The 2005 General Assembly revised the SOQ through the following legislation:


House Bill 1762 and Senate Bill 779 amended the Standards of Quality in accordance with changes approved by the Board of Education. These bills revised terms, clarified language, and made changes affecting school divisions, local school boards, school division superintendents, and the Board of Education.


The Board of Educations Six Year Educational Technology Plan for Virginia was changed to the Comprehensive Plan for Educational Technology. The Board of Educations Statewide Six-Year Plan was changed to a Comprehensive, Unified, Long-Range Plan. The school divisions Six-Year improvement plan was changed to the school divisions Comprehensive Plan.


Provisions regarding the five positions per 1,000 students in kindergarten through grade 5 who serve as elementary resource teachers in art, music, and physical education and the two positions per 1,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12, one to provide technology support and one to serve as an instructional technology resource teacher, were clarified as full-time equivalent positions.


Revisions require school divisions to adopt curriculum that is aligned to the Standards of Learning and school division superintendents to regularly review the divisions submission of data and reports required by federal and state law and regulations to ensure that all information is accurate and submitted in a timely fashion. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to furnish a list of the required reports and data to division superintendents annually. The status of compliance with this requirement is required to be included in the Board of Educations annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly.


Additionally, the teacher, administrator, and superintendent evaluations are required to be consistent with the performance objectives included in the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Administrators, and Superintendents. Teacher evaluations are required to include regular observation and evidence that instruction is aligned with the schools curriculum. Evaluations are required to include identification of areas of individual strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for appropriate professional development activities.


Revisions require the Board of Education to adopt the statewide comprehensive, unified, long-range plan based on data collection, analysis, and evaluation, to review it biennially and adopt any necessary revisions. The plan must include strategies for improving and maintaining high levels of student achievement.


In accordance with HB 1762 and SB 779, local school boards are required to:



See 22.1-253.13:1, 22.1-253.13:2, 22.1-253.13:3, 22.1-253.13:5, 22.1-253:13.6, and 22.1-253.13:8 of the Code.


House Bill 2488 and Senate Bill 1034 require that the Standards of Learning requirements, including all related assessments, be waived for any student awarded a scholarship under a Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Program, pursuant to 30-231.2, who is enrolled in a preparation program for the General Education Development (GED) Certificate or in an adult basic education program to obtain the high school diploma. See 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code.


Senate Bill 1045 requires the Board of Education, in establishing course and credit requirements for a high school diploma, to provide for the award of verified units of credit for passing scores on industry certifications, state licensure examinations, and national occupational competency assessments approved by the Board of Education. Local school boards are required to report annually to the Board of Education the number of industry certifications obtained and state licensure examinations passed, and the number shall be reported as a category on the School Performance Report Card. See 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code.


I hope that you will find this information helpful. You can find the final legislative reports for the 2005 General Assembly session on the departments website at under Legislative Tracking.


Please contact the Office of Policy and Communications at (804) 225-2403 or by e-mail at, if you need additional information.