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Virginia Assessment Letter

April 26, 2007

The Honorable Billy K. Cannaday
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Virginia Department of Education
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218

Dear Superintendent Cannaday:

Thank you for submitting additional assessment materials for peer review under the standards and assessment requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). We appreciate the efforts required to prepare for the latest peer review that occurred in March 2007.

Based on the recommendations of the peer reviewers and the evidence you have provided to date, the status of Virginia's standards and assessment system remains Approval Expected. This status indicates that a State will administer an assessment system in grades 3-8 and high school in 2006-07 that the evidence to date suggests is fully compliant with the statutory and regulatory requirements. There are certain elements, however, that are not yet complete due to the nature of assessment development.

Virginia must provide the Department with a timeline for completing the evidence needed to satisfy the remaining requirements, as indicated in the enclosure to this letter. Please note that, because there is one element of Virginia's system that is not yet complete, the condition on Virginia's Title I, Part A grant award will continue until Virginia submits the required evidence and receives full approval of its standards and assessment system.

The Department will carefully review the evidence Virginia submitted to support the use of the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams in place of the Virginia high school end-of-course assessments for a small group of students. The Department will determine whether to approve Virginia's request to amend its accountability plan in order to count as proficient students who score 2 or better on the AP or 3 or better on the IB exams for the purposes of determining adequate yearly progress in the 2006-07 school year.

The Department remains committed to working with Virginia to meet the requirements of NCLB and to raising the performance of all children. Toward that end, let me reiterate my earlier offer of technical assistance to you. If you have any additional questions or want to request technical assistance, please do not hesitate to call David Harmon (David.Harmon@ed.gov) or Abigail Potts (Abigail.Potts@ed.gov) of my staff.

Sincerely,

Kerri L. Briggs, Ph.D. Acting Assistant Secretary

Enclosure

cc: Governor Tim Kaine
State Board of Education President Mark Emblidge
Shelley Loving-Ryder
Robert Triscari


SUMMARY OF ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE THAT VIRGINIA MUST SUBMIT TO MEET ESEA REQUIREMENTS FOR THE VIRGINIA ASSESSMENT SYSTEM

4.0 - TECHNICAL QUALITY

  1. Additional evidence documenting validity of the Virginia Grade Level Assessment (VGLA) for LEP students.

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Last Modified: 04/27/2007