Superintendent's Memo #051-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 18, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia’s College & Career Ready Mathematics Performance Expectations

Over the last three years, the Virginia Department of Education, with its agency partners, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), has been working on the Virginia College and Career Readiness Initiative (CCRI) to improve high school graduates' preparation for postsecondary education and careers. Through this cooperative effort with higher education, Virginia has identified mathematics and English performance expectations aligned to state, national, and international college and career readiness standards.

On February 17, 2011, Virginia's College and Career Ready Mathematics Performance Expectations (MPE) were accepted by the Virginia Board of Education in a report describing the development and identification of this important component of the CCRI. The MPE define the level of achievement students must reach to be academically prepared for success in entry-level, credit-bearing, college courses in mathematics and further career and technical training. These performance expectations were identified using the Mathematics Standards of Learning, the Mathematics SOL Curriculum Framework, and other validated state and national college and career readiness standards, including the Common Core State Standards. This report to the Board can be found at: Additional information, announcements, and research related to the CCRI can be found at:

The Department of Education is moving forward with this initiative by encouraging school divisions to begin planning for and piloting a mathematics capstone course based on the MPE. The mathematics capstone course (course code 3136) is intended for 12th-grade students who have passed Algebra II or Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis and need additional coursework to adequately prepare them for entry-level, credit-bearing, college courses in mathematics and further career and technical training. Additional information about the mathematics capstone course will be released during the spring of 2011 and posted on the Department's College and Career Readiness Initiative Web page.

To support this initiative, Radford University and the University of Virginia have received a Mathematics and Science Partnership continuation grant to extend their work on high school mathematics content by providing professional development to teachers on the MPE through the development of models for applied instructional tasks, assessment tools, and curriculum and pacing resources. These resources will be made available for use by Virginia educators.

For more information about the College and Career Ready Mathematics Performance Expectations, please contact Michael Bolling, mathematics coordinator, Office of Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 786-6418.