COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
July 10, 2015
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
On March 26, 2015, the Board of Education adopted the revised History and Social Science Standards of Learning for public schools in Virginia. These standards represent a significant development in public education in Virginia and focus on the history and social science knowledge and skills all students need for the future. The Virginia Department of Education's goal is for implementation of the newly revised History and Social Science Standards of Learning for the high school end-of-course tests beginning in the fall of 2017. Recognizing that curriculum alignment efforts require planning, time, staff development, and resources, school divisions should begin to:
The History and Social Science Standards of Learning assessments will continue to be based on the 2008 History and Social Science Standards of Learning through the summer of 2017 test administration. In the 2017-2018 school year, the Standards of Learning assessments will be based upon the revised 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning.
Some of the items to be fieldtested in the spring of 2016 for all online history tests will be technology-enhanced items (TEI) which assess the 2008 Standards. Technology-enhanced items require students to indicate their answers in item formats other than the common multiple-choice format. TEI fieldtested in the spring of 2017 will assess the revised 2015 Standards.
A set of TEI practice items and accompanying guides will be released in the fall of 2015 on the Virginia Department of Education Web site to assist teachers as they prepare students for this new item type. Please note that the practice items will only be samples. They will not cover all history content for the course, nor will they provide examples of all item types or functionality that may be found in the field-test items.
Attachment A contains an integrated timeline of anticipated dates related to instruction, assessment, and instructional materials development.
Questions regarding assessment should be directed to the Office of Assessment Development, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.
For further information, please contact Christonya Brown, coordinator for history and social science, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by e-mail at Christonya.Brown@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2893; or Betsy Barton, specialist for history and social science (K-5), Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by e-mail at Betsy.Barton@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-3454.