Fairfax sends misleading letter
On March 5, 2001, Terry Nelson, Home School Coordinator for Fairfax County Public Schools, sent Fairfax County home school families a letter offering to test their children through the public school using the Stanford Achievement Test.
The letter stated that the Stanford "is the achievement test currently approved by the Virginia Board of Education for use by the public schools in testing children receiving home instruction." This statement is misleading-a family could easily conclude that the Stanford is the only acceptable test for a home schooled child to take in Virginia for annual assessment purposes. Not true! State law permits a parent to use any nationally standardized test for annual assessment purposes.
Paragraph three of Ms. Nelson's letter also erroneously states that a home school family who chooses to administer private testing at their own expense must use "appropriate tests given by qualified personnel who are not relatives of your child (or children)." Nothing in Virginia state law prohibits parents from administering the annual test to their own child. Furthermore, the terms "qualified personnel" and "appropriate tests" are ambiguous.
HSLDA contacted Fairfax County Public Schools, and we have now received assurances that future letters will be more accurate. — Scott A. Woodruff