Superintendent’s Memo #041-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 8, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Local Division Scoring of Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) Collections of Evidence in 2013-2014

Until 2010-2011, VAAP Collections of Evidence were scored by local school division staff and professional scorers from Pearson, Virginia’s testing contractor, audited the scores for 10 percent of the collections.  In 2010-2011 this process changed as the Virginia Department of Education began implementing new assessments based on the revised history Standards of Learning (SOL) adopted by the Board of Education in 2008.  Because of the new content measured by the revised SOL, it was necessary for the Board to adopt new cut scores on all history tests that are a part of the Virginia Assessment Program, including VAAP.  The first step in the process of adopting cut scores for VAAP involved convening a standard setting committee of educators to review the VAAP collections and to provide recommendations to the Board regarding cut scores for the achievement levels of pass/proficient and pass/advanced.  To ensure the availability of scored VAAP collections so that the standard setting committee review could occur in a timely fashion, the Virginia Department of Education arranged for Pearson to score all VAAP collections.  Pearson scorers continued to score all VAAP collections in 2011-2012 and in 2012-2013 as assessments based on the new SOL in mathematics, English, and science were implemented.

Because the implementation of assessments based on new SOL is now complete, local scoring of VAAP Collections of Evidence will resume beginning in 2013-2014.  School divisions will be responsible for managing all tasks related to scoring, including scorer training, scoring and score entry in PearsonAccess.  Pearson will be responsible for auditing 10 percent of the VAAP collections of evidence. 

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at   or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.