Document Type

Research Report

Original Publication Date


Date of Submission

December 2016


The primary purpose of this case study was to describe the implementation of the Virginia Standards of Learning in seven public school systems in the Richmond, Virginia metropolitan area. Implementation includes the application of the grade level and subject objectives to daily classroom instruction, organization of instruction, and preparation of students for administration of the tests.

The Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) is made up of Virginia Commonwealth University and seven school systems in the vicinity of Richmond. A Policy and Planning Council, which governs the consortium, is made up of the school superintendent, a representative member of each school board, the consortium director, and other administrators/faculty from the university and the seven school systems that comprise the MERC membership. In February, 1998, the Policy and Planning Council requested that a study group be established to investigate the effect of implementing the Virginia Standards of Learning and the associated criterion-testing program. In December 1998, the MERC Policy and Planning Council approved the recommendation of the study group to conduct this research. it was anticipated that the results of this research would provide the impetus for instructional decisions needed to achieve higher levels of student performance on the Standards of Learning.

As described by Creswell (1998), this case study is "an exploration of a 'bounded system' . . . through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information rich in context . . . bounded by time and place" (p. 61). The bounds of this multi-case study do not permit inclusion of approximately two hundred schools that comprise these seven districts; therefore, a purposeful sampling of one school from each school system was appropriate after input from the school superintendents with regard to balancing school levels and community types. The study is further bounded by the timeline beginning with the project approval in December 1998 and the ending with the report in the fall of 1999. Practical factors of time and budget required the limitation of categories of persons from which to seek information and perspectives; therefore, direct input of students and parents was not sought. Because of the many activities that occur near the end of the school year, the data collection was limited primarily to February and March, 1999.

Is Part Of

VCU MERC Publications

Included in

Education Commons