Thursday, March 30, 2023

Virginia Department of Education to Introduce New Math and Reading Assessments

VDOE will begin administering Growth Assessment Tests to students this fall. (Unsplash/Ben Mullins)

STATEWIDE — The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) announced that it will administer new growth assessments in order to determine baselines for individual academic progress in reading and math during the school year.

According to a VDOE press release, the tests are the result of legislation approved by the 2021 General Assembly, which calls for testing during the fall in addition to the Standards of Learning tests which Virginia students take every spring.

“These new assessments are timely in that they will provide teachers and other educators with baseline data showing exactly where students are in reading and mathematics as they return to school after the disruptions to learning caused by the pandemic,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “Teachers will use performance data from the fall tests to craft instruction that meets the individual needs of every student, with the goal of achieving proficiency or significant growth by the end of the year.”

Students in third through eighth grade will take the assessments.  For this year only, the tests will be based on content from the previous grade level to assist in the identification of unfinished learning from 2020-2021 due to the pandemic.

Full implementation of the state legislation will occur during the 2022-2023 school year with reading and math growth assessments administered in the fall, mid-year and spring.

The purpose of growth assessments is to help identify what students have already learned, as well as the skills they may need additional help with during the school year.  The tests will not have a minimum passing score, and VDOE will not report aggregate growth results for schools and divisions.

More information on the new fall growth assessments is available on the Growth Assessments web page on the VDOE website.

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