A Comparison of State Testing Requirements for Homeschoolers
Twenty-two states require testing or offer testing as one of several assessment alternatives.
There is no proof that homeschooled students in states that require testing do better or worse than in states that do not require oversight evaluations.
Testing is not required annually in all these states. Some states require testing only near the end of the year in specific grades. Often testing is one of several options and homeschool families may choose one of the other options instead.
If your state is not listed below, then assessment testing is not required, nor is any other form of assessment such as an evaluation or portfolio.
Often the School District (s.d.) must supply, administer, and pay for the testing; however, families usually have the option to have their children tested outside the school system by an independent qualified tester at the family’s own expense. In a few states families must always pay for their own tests.
Typically the results are given to someone in the school system, but in a few states, each family is required to keep the scores themselves and only give the test results to someone in the education system if requested officially.
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Passing requirements are typically pretty low, so homeschoolers have no problem passing and continuing to homeschool. In states where testing is done, the average homeschooled student passes at or above the 85th percentile.
Children who have learning disabilities are only required to show progress from year to year in most states.
If a child falls below the required score, the homeschool is put on probation and remediation services are offered for a year or two. If the child again fails to show progress, he or she may be sent back to a public or private school or the family may be required to hire a tutor. In only one state, Hawaii, are homeschool parents threatened with educational neglect charges based on test scores after remediation.
What follows is a summary and should be looked at as such. You should look at your state law to read the details, and refer to your state homeschool association to help you understand what is really required of you.
“Any sat” means any “nationally standardized achievement test.” There are a number of tests to choose from, and plenty of discussion about which test is best in which situations.
“”s.d.” refers to “school district.” “d.o.e.” to the “Department of Education.”