The 2014 General Assembly omitted five Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in grades 3-8 while requiring local school divisions to continue to teach the content and measure student achievement. As a result, assessments are required by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for grade-level content areas in which Virginia SOL tests were eliminated. To meet the state mandate, the VDOE transitioned from administering certain SOL tests to implementing Locally Developed Assessments (LDA).
The term LDA is used to describe Performance-Based Assessments (PBA). PBA are project-based tasks that allow students to both develop and demonstrate skills as they problem-solve and apply learning to new situations. PBA such as making models, conducting experiments, or engaging in debates, are authentic assessment activities designed to provide a view of students’ learning. PBA necessitate student utilization of higher-order thinking skills to create a product or complete a process. PBA are used in conjunction with selected response (i.e. multiple-choice, matching) or constructed response (i.e. short answer, fill-in-the-blank) assessments in a balanced assessment approach.
For additional information, please visit the Performance-Based Assessment section on the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) website.