Directors Update: Program Evaluation

As you may recall, our school underwent a scheduled program evaluation during school year 2012-2013 that was conducted by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). One of the recommendations proffered to our school had to do with our protocols and metrics as they pertain to the ability and achievement assessments administered in our admissions process. I called on the school’s Planning Committee (made up of the gifted education specialist from each of our 12 participating school divisions) to review the protocols and metrics.

After several meetings and careful consideration, the Planning Committee recommended an expansion of the scale for the awarding of points on the assessments. The Planning Committee’s recommendation was vetted through the university community (Dr. James McMillan, VCU Professor) who supported the planning committee’s recommendation. Based on Dr. McMillan’s review of procedures, his knowledge of the nature of the assessments, and his background in measurement and statistics, he concurred with the Planning Committee recommendation to expand the scale for the awarding of points on assessments, and further noted that “the most accurate and fair approach to including performance on the tests [in the admissions process] would be to assign points relative to the full scale of scores. That would provide, for each student, a fair indication of the level of ability, knowledge and understanding demonstrated that day.” Our regional Board and superintendents support the full scale proposal; thus, it will be implemented during the current admissions cycle.

On behalf of our students, staff, and school, thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to make strides to strengthen this great school based on data, research, and best practice.

Jeffrey W. McGee, Ph.D.
Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies