Legislation passed in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly (HB2027 and SB1357) required the implementation of “through-year” or “growth” assessments beginning in fall 2021 for reading and mathematics in grades 3-8. To ensure that the growth assessments administered for this purpose are aligned to the Standards of Learning (SOL), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) developed shorter computer adaptive tests (CAT) using existing SOL test items. The growth assessments administered in fall 2021 were based on content from the student’s previous grade level. For example, students enrolled in grade 5 mathematics in fall 2021 completed fall growth assessments based on grade 4 mathematics.
Beginning with the second year of implementation (2022-2023) and beyond, the legislation requires that the grades 3-8 reading and mathematics growth assessments be administered to students once in the fall and once in the winter (mid-year) during the school year. In addition to the growth assessments, the SOL tests for grade 3-8 reading and mathematics will continue to be administered.
Unlike the fall 2021 fall growth assessments that focused on content from the student’s previous grade level, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the fall and winter growth assessments will focus primarily on content from the student’s current grade level. For example, a student taking grade 5 mathematics in 2022-2023 will be administered a growth assessment that focuses primarily on grade 5 mathematics content. However, in compliance with the 2021 legislation, the CAT algorithm has been configured so that the student might be administered some items from below or above the current grade level depending on the student’s responses to the on-grade-level content items. For example, students taking the grade 5 mathematics growth assessment will primarily be administered grade 5 test items; however, depending on the student’s responses to the on-grade-level test items, the student may also be administered some grade 4 test items or some grade 6 test items.There are several exceptions to the potential administration of off-grade level test items. One exception is that the grade 8 reading and mathematics growth assessments will only include items assessing SOL content that is at or below the 8th grade level since there are no above-grade-level items available in the current CAT item banks. Additionally, in fall 2022, items that measure grade 2 SOL content are being field tested with students. Because these items are being tried out with students, they will not count toward the student’s score. Therefore, the items for grade 3 reading and mathematics growth assessments that count toward the student’s score will only include items that assess content at or above the 3rd grade level. Finally, a student who meets the criteria for a paper test will only be administered test items that assess SOL content aligned with the student’s grade level.
Presentations for Teachers
Recorded presentations related to Standards of Learning tests and Grades 3-8 Reading and Mathematics Growth Assessments are provided to assist teachers in Virginia public schools. Questions about these presentations should be directed to the Office of Student Assessment.
- Using Standards of Learning Assessment Data to Inform Instruction in Mathematics
- Using Standards of Learning Assessment Data to Inform Instruction in Reading
- Using the Student Detail by Question Extract File for Teachers
- Overview for Teachers: Grades 3-8 Reading and Mathematics Growth Assessments in the 2022-2023 School Year and Beyond
Growth Assessments Test Blueprints Summary
Much like the blueprint for a building, a test blueprint serves as a guide for test construction. The blueprint indicates the content areas that will be addressed by the test and the number of items that will be included by content area and for the test as a whole.
- Online Mathematics Tools-This is a PDF document. - Online tools available on the Mathematics Growth Assessments
Ancillary Test Materials
Grades 3-8 Reading and Mathematics Growth Assessments Manuals
- Grades 3, 4, & 5 Growth Assessments Examiner’s Manual-This is a PDF document.
- Grades 6, 7 & 8 Growth Assessments Examiner’s Manual-This is a PDF document.
- Examiner’s Resource Guide-This is a PDF document.
- Fall 2022 Test Implementation Manual-This is a PDF document.
- 2022-2023 Fall and Winter Supplement to the Grades 3-5 Reading and Mathematics Growth Assessments Examiner’s Manual-This is a PDF document.
- 2022-2023 Fall and Winter Supplement to the Grades 6-8 Reading and Mathematics Growth Assessments Examiner’s Manual-This is a PDF document.
Resources for Assessment
- Computer Adaptive Testing – Includes informational videos and resources about computer adaptive testing (CAT)
- SOL Practice Items - The Practice Items are test items grouped by content area and grade level or course available for use by teachers, parents, and students in Virginia.
- Guided Practice Suggestions - The Guided Practice Suggestions are designed to be used in conjunction with the Practice Items. The Guided Practice Suggestions provide specific guided practice suggestions for teachers as they lead students through a practice item set. Following these suggestions will ensure that students are exposed to all of the different tools within TestNav, the different functionality features of technology-enhanced items (TEI), and common messages that may appear as students complete TEI.
- TestNav Functionality Overview Grade 3 Reading and Mathematics Fall 2021 (YouTube) – The YouTube video is designed for teachers to use independently or with their students. Teachers may play the video and stop it while students practice certain test features and item functionality using the practice items.