Superintendent’s Memo #260-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

September 21, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Participation in Field Testing of Algebra Readiness Diagnostic Test

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and its testing contractor, Pearson, will conduct a field test of the revised Algebra Readiness Diagnostic Test (ARDT) during the period of November 12 – December 21, 2012.  All school divisions are encouraged to participate in this critical step in the implementation process of the new, operational ARDT that is scheduled to be available to Virginia’s students in early 2013.

Students participating in the online field test will be assigned a form containing items at their previous grade level or lower, as indicated in the table of ARDT Field Test Participants by Grade found below.  Each test form will contain 35 multiple choice and technology-enhanced items (TEI).  Students participating in the field test will have an opportunity to gain additional experience with non-secure TEI and online testing.  The tests will be administered through TestNav, the same application used to deliver the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests.  It is anticipated that the administration of the field test form will require less than 1.5 hours.

To evaluate approximately 3,000 items, a sample of nearly 30,000 students from across Virginia is necessary.  Below is a table that summarizes the number of students needed by grade.

ARDT Field Test Participants by Grade
Current Student Grade Level

Grade Level SOL Content Tested

Number of Students Necessary


3, 4, 5











Post-Algebra I

Algebra I





In identifying students for the field test, the following criteria should be considered:

Other important information regarding the field test is provided below:

From the list of volunteer divisions, a sample that is representative of the state in terms of demographic factors such as geography, race/ethnicity, and school and division sizes will be selected. To meet the requirements of the state sampling plan, schools may be allocated a maximum number of students for testing which may be less than the estimated number of potential participants provided to the VDOE in the survey.  The division director of testing and the division Algebra Readiness contact as identified in the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) will be notified of information on the ARDT Field Test.

School divisions interested in participating in the field test should indicate the estimated number of students at each grade level that could participate in the field test using the survey found at the following link.
If clicking on this link does not work, please try copying and pasting the link into your Web browser.

We appreciate your time and effort in completing the survey no later than October 12, 2012.  Questions regarding the administration of the Fall 2012 ARDT Field Test in TestNav should be directed to the assessment staff at or (804) 225-2102.  General questions about the ARDT as well as questions regarding the selection of students for the field test should be directed to Michael Bolling, acting director of the Office of Mathematics and Governor’s Schools, at or (804) 786-6418.