VDOE Growth Assessment and SOL Testing Updates

  • Overview

    The Virginia Board of Education (VDOE) established the Standards of Learning (SOL) as minimum expectations for learning in a course of study.  Virginia's accountability plan requires public school divisions to administer SOL assessments in specific subjects (English, Math, History, and Science) and grade levels each year as part of school accreditation and to meet federal testing requirements.  

    VDOE Growth Assessments

    To support student learning, Manassas City Public Schools will administer the VDOE Student Growth Assessments. The VDOE Growth Assessments are computer adaptive tests administered in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Schedules for the administration of these assessments will be set at the school level.  These tests will aid teachers in identifying any unfinished learning from last year and set a benchmark for measuring future growth.

    Student Detail By Question (SDBQ) score reports will show the academic standards on which the student was assessed and whether the test item was answered correctly. The report will assist teachers in planning to meet the instructional needs of students for the current school year.  Students will receive a scaled score to indicate current content knowledge levels. They will not receive passing or failing scores. Questions about the report or the test administration can be directed to your student’s school.

    High School End-of-Course SOL tests

    EOC SOL tests are required for federal and state accountability and to satisfy graduation requirements.  When a high school student passes an EOC SOL test, it is referred to as a “verified credit”.  Verified credits are required for graduation.  High school students must take the EOC SOL test this year if they are enrolled in an SOL-tested course and need to earn the verified credit for graduation.  

    SOL Field Tests 

    The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has developed a new type of test question for future Standards of Learning (SOL) Reading assessments in grades 5, 8, and high school.  Before this new type of test item is administered to students as part of the SOL Reading tests in grades 5, 8, and high school, it is being tried out with students this spring during what is called a field test. Students in grades 5, 8, and high school (usually grade 11) who are scheduled to take the online SOL Reading test will participate in this field test for the new item type.

    During the field test, students will read a nonfiction passage online that may be about a history or science topic and then answer four to six questions about what they have read. One question is a writing prompt or a question that asks students to write about what they have read. Students will complete this online in one session. Currently, the VDOE is only trying out this item type in an online format. In the future, this item type will be available in other formats for students needing an accommodation such as braille, large print, or audio.  Students requiring these accommodations at this time are not required to participate in the field test. As an exception, students who receive an audio accommodation on an SOL Reading test may receive a read-aloud accommodation during the field test as an alternative to administering an audio form; however, if the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team or 504 plan committee determines that the read-aloud accommodation is not an appropriate alternative, these students are not required to participate.

    Examples of this new item type are available for students, parents, and teachers to view online in what are called “Integrated Reading and Writing Item Sets.” These item sets include examples for grade 5, grade 8, and high school students and can be located using the SOL Practice Items page of the VDOE website. A guide, Integrated Reading and Writing Practice Items is also available for use with these item sets. The guide gives information about each practice item and how students can use the available online tools. 

    It is important to know that individual test results from the field test will not be available to students, but results of the field test will be used to make decisions about the use of the new integrated reading and writing item type on state assessments in the future.