HSLDA reviews testing memo
Many parents of home school students received a memorandum dated February 21, 2001, from the Tennessee Department of Education describing the tests the state intends to require of home school students during the 2000-2001 school year.
The memorandum states that the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) test will be administered to students in grades 5 and 7 if the students are not associated with a church-related school. This document also states that students in grade 9 who are not associated with a church-related school and students in grades 9-12 who are associated with a church-related school must take end-of-course math tests in the areas of Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry, if they are enrolled in these courses.
It is HSLDA's opinion based upon the language of the home school statute, the legislative history, and constitutional considerations that home school students do not have to take these end-of-course math tests. The law requires that tests administered to home school students be standardized achievement tests. None of the proposed end-of-course math tests is a standardized achievement test.
State law requires that home school students not associated with a church-related school must take the same standardized tests required of public school students in grades 5, 7, and 9. The state intends to administer the TCAP test to these students in grades 5 and 7. Indications are that the TCAP test is a standardized achievement test, which is properly required for students not associated with a church-related school. — Dewitt T. Black