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New York
Attempt to impose state testing

Local school districts in various parts of the state have been attempting to impose state tests on students receiving home instruction. Home School Legal Defense Association has responded on behalf of a number of our member families who were contacted about having their fourth grade students take an English/Language Arts examination in January and a Mathematics examination in May. In each case, we wrote public school officials, pointing out that students in a home instruction program are not required to take any state tests.

The only testing of home school students required by New York regulations is in connection with the annual assessment, which must be included with the fourth quarterly report submitted to the district at the end of the year. Depending upon the grade level of the student, parents may elect to have a standardized achievement test administered or utilize an alternative evaluation method. And parents, not public school officials, choose the standardized test to be administered to their children from a list found in the home instruction regulation.

  1. Grades 1-3: an alternative evaluation method may be employed at each of these grade levels.

  2. Grades 4-8: an alternative form of evaluation may be used no more often than every other school year. Note: even if an alternative evaluation method has been used in grades 1-3, a parent may again use the alternative evaluation method for grade 4. Thus, standardized achievement testing is not required until the end of grade 5.

  3. Grades 9-12: a standardized achievement test must be administered at each of these grade levels.

Parents whose local school districts advise them that state testing is required for their children should contact HSLDA for assistance. — Dewitt T. Black