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School Districts Seek Home Schoolers' Participation in Standardized Tests

Home School Legal Defense Association has been contacted by a significant number of home schooling families during the last quarter of the 1994-95 school year because their local school district insists that their children participate in standardized achievement tests administered by the public schools. In at least 14 New York school districts, home school students were advised that they were required to take the pupil evaluation program (PEP) tests, program evaluation tests (PET), or various other standardized achievement tests being administered by the school district. Members of HSLDA residing in the following cities reported to HSLDA that one or more of these tests were being required by their local districts: Ripley, Utica, Oxford, Greene, Newark, Amhurst, Lancaster, Yorkshire, Hamburg, Holland Patent, Oswego, Bronx, Grahamsville, and West Babylon.

The evaluation of students receiving home instruction in New York is regulated exclusively by the provisions of Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Whenever standardized achievement test results are required, parents have the option of having the test administered at the public school, at a registered nonpublic school, at a nonregistered nonpublic school, or at the parents' home or any other reasonable location, under the conditions prescribed by the regulation. Additionally, parents have the right to select the particular achievement test to be administered to their child. It is clear that home school students are not required to participate in the PEP, PET, Regents Competency Test (RCT), or any other standardized achievement test designated by the public school officials. Parents are free to choose any one of the following tests to be administered in the home instruction program: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, California Achievement Test, Stanford Achievement Test, Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, Metropolitan Achievement Test, a state education department test, or another test approved by the state education department.