Virginia Council for the Social Studies
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Call for Proposals

The 2014 Virginia Conference for Social Studies teachers will be held on October 24 and 25 in Tysons Corner, VA, specifically the Sheraton Tysons Premier in Vienna, VA.  This year's theme is: Virginia and the Global World.  

Proposals will be accepted until May 1.  Presenters will be notified of their status by June 1, 2014.

If you're interested in presenting, click here.

Virginia General Assembly News

The Virginia General Assembly currently has 10 bills dealing with the SOLs, some dealing with Social Studies.  This Tuesday, January 28, many of them will be discussed in committees. The main idea seems to be eliminating some SOL Social Studies tests in the elementary school.  Some measures would eliminate tests (3rd grade, for example) and have no other form of accountability to teach Social Studies, while some bills do.  Here are two documents you can look at for more information:

Press Release_SOL Reform (1) (1).doc
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Nominations for the 2014 Standards of Learning Item and Test Review Committees

The Office of Assessment Development is seeking nominations for the 2014 Standards of Learning (SOL) Item and Test Review Committees.

The committee meetings will be held in Richmond, Virginia, according to the attached schedule. Approximately 15 members are needed for each of the 34 committees, and school divisions may nominate one or more representatives for each committee.

Committee members will be chosen based on the following criteria:
  • grade-level experience and content area expertise; 
  • in-depth knowledge of the SOL; 
  • instructional/supervisory experience with students of varied learning styles, abilities, and aptitudes, including students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency;
  • and balanced regional representation. 

Committee members selected for the 2014 SOL Item and Test Review Committees will be expected to:
  • serve a one-year term and attend all daily scheduled meetings in their entirety (committee members may not be excused for other meetings or events unless there is a personal emergency); 
  • use technology provided, such as a laptop computer; 
  • sign a Non-Disclosure/Conflict of Interest Agreement;
  • examine test items to confirm a match with the SOL; 
  • review test items for appropriateness and fairness; 
  • examine test items for equity, bias and sensitivity issues, and stereotyping regarding gender, ethnic, religious, political, age, or socio-economic group; 
  • examine field test data for potential test items; 
  • and recommend whether items are to be included in the test item bank. 

Committee members will be provided the following:
  • reimbursement for meals and travel expenses in accordance with state travel policy and guidelines;
  • lodging; 
  • incentive of $125 per meeting day for committee members not under contract with a school division at the time of meetings; 
  • and certificate for recertification points (pending local approval). 

All individuals who wish to serve on the 2014 committees, including those who have previously served, must submit an online application through the Assessment Committee Application Processing System (ACAPS).

The application will require a professional reference and division approval. The procedure for submitting the online application is available at

Completed applications are due to the Virginia Department of Education by February 14, 2014.

An informational video that provides an overview of the item and test review process, along with reflections from Virginia educators who have participated in this process, can be found on the Virginia Department of Education Web site at:

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff at: or by phone at (804) 225-2102.

Your continued support of this effort is greatly appreciated.
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