Superintendent’s Memo #008-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

January 12, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Nominations for Standard Setting Committees for the Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Tests (VMAST) in Mathematics

The Virginia Modified Achievement Standards Tests (VMAST) for grade 3-8 mathematics and Algebra I are being administered for the first time in spring 2012. The VMAST is an alternate assessment designed for students with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA), who are instructed in grade level content, but are not likely to achieve proficiency in the same time frame as their nondisabled peers. The new VMAST mathematics assessments will provide eligible students access to online tests measuring the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) that include research-based supports identified by Virginia educators.

The Virginia Department of Education is accepting nominations for standard setting committees for the VMAST mathematics tests.  Standard setting is necessary to develop cut score recommendations for these new mathematics assessments that reflect students’ achievement status. These recommendations will be submitted to the Board of Education, which will then decide the cut scores for fail/basic (grades 3-8 only) pass/proficient and pass/advanced status. Committee meetings will be held in Richmond, Virginia on March 13-15, 2012 for:

The Grade 8 Mathematics committee will also continue to meet on March 16, 2012, to make cut score recommendations for the Modified Standard Diploma for the grade 8 Standards of Learning Mathematics test.

Approximately 20 teachers will be selected to serve on each of the seven committees.  School divisions are encouraged to nominate a representative for each committee.
Committee members will be chosen based on the following criteria:

Committee members will be provided the following:

School divisions will be reimbursed for substitute teacher pay at a rate of $75 per day.
All nominees who wish to serve on the VMAST mathematics standard setting committees must complete the Web-based application using the Assessment Committee Application Processing System (ACAPS).  The Web-based application process requires a professional reference and division-level approval.  Procedures for submitting the Web-based application are available at
Completed applications should be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education using ACAPS by February 17, 2012.
If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at or by phone at (804) 225-2102.