Superintendent’s Memo #243-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

September 13, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Recruitment for Computer Adaptive Testing Pilot

As communicated to you in Superintendent’s Memorandum #168-13, June 21, 2013, the Virginia Department of Education will be conducting pilots of computer adaptive testing (CAT) for the Standards of Learning (SOL) grade 7 mathematics test and the grade 8 reading test in 2013-2014.  The results of these pilots will be used to inform the redesign of the state assessment program to include CAT.

The CAT pilot for the grade 7 mathematics test will be conducted January 13-31, 2014, and the pilot for the grade 8 readingtest will be conducted from May 5-June 20, 2014.  The Department is looking for approximately 1,500 students from across the Commonwealth to participate in each pilot.  To ensure that students have been exposed to the content on the test, students participating in the grade 7 mathematics pilot should have either 1) completed instruction of the grade 7 mathematics SOL in spring 2013 or 2) be completing the grade 7 mathematics SOL at the end of the fall 2013 semester.  Students participating in the grade 8 reading pilot must complete instruction in the grade 8 English SOL in spring 2014 and take the grade 8 SOL reading test prior to participating in the CAT pilot.

Additional information about participation in the CAT pilots, including a link to an online survey that school divisions will use to indicate interest in participation, will be sent to Division Directors of Testing.   The deadline for completing this survey will be November 4, 2013.  School divisions may volunteer to participate in either or both pilots.  If the number of students identified by the survey for participation in the pilot exceeds 1,500 per test, a sample of school divisions will be selected.  School divisions will be notified of their participation in the pilot by November 25, 2013.

If you have questions about school division participation in the pilots, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at or by phone at
(804) 225-2102.