Superintendent’s Memo #063-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

March 8, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Understand Scoring Application Updated to Reflect the 2010 English Standards of  Learning

The Understand Scoring application has been updated to provide information about the new grade 5, grade 8, and end-of-course writing assessments that are based on the 2010 English Standards of Learning (SOL).  Understand Scoring provides educators with information about the SOL writing assessments, including the rubrics and anchor papers that illustrate each score point on the composing/written expression and usage/mechanics domains used to score the short paper components of the writing tests.  The application is intended to assist teachers in preparing students for the SOL writing tests.

The link to Understand Scoring can be found on the Virginia Department of Education Web site at

This site will be updated again in August 2013, to include sets of student papers that individuals can use to practice scoring and to evaluate the accuracy of the scores they assign.  Notification will be sent to divisions when the update occurs.

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2102; or Tracy Fair Robertson, English coordinator, by e-mail at or by telephone at
(804) 371-7585.