Superintendent’s Memo #189-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

July 18, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Implementation of Computer Adaptive Testing for the Grade 6 Mathematics Standards of Learning Test

Superintendent's Memorandum No. 168-13, released June 21, 2013, communicated to school divisions that pilot studies of Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) in grade 7 mathematics and grade 8 reading would be conducted during the 2013-2014 school year.  These pilots have been completed, and the results support moving forward with transitioning the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to a CAT model. As a reminder, CAT provides a customized assessment for each student rather than the current practice of each student taking one of several versions of the SOL tests.

Originally the Department intended to implement CAT for grades 6, 7, and 8 mathematics in fall 2014 and grades 3, 4, and 5 mathematics in spring 2015. However, due to funding constraints, only the grade 6 mathematics test will be administered using CAT during the 2014-2015 school year. More information about the schedule for the transition to CAT for other SOL tests will be provided via superintendent’s memorandum as it becomes available.

Additional information about CAT will be posted on the Department’s Web site this summer. Specific information about the administration of the grade 6 mathematics test using the CAT model will also be communicated to Division Directors of Testing this summer.

If you have questions about CAT, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.