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Cover Story
Charter schools: The price is too high

Charter schools: Look before you leap

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Freedom watch

A contrario sensu

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Across the States
State by State

HSLDA social services contact policy

A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal contacts for August 2001

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Probation avoided through portfolio review

Last August, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family was informed by the Iowa Department of Education that their home school plans would be placed on probation because of their child's low test scores. Iowa law requires that children under competent private instruction achieve a minimum 30th percentile score in each subtest area.

The family contacted the school district for help in developing a remediation plan. The school district official contacted Mr. Eric Heitz at the Iowa Department of Education for advice to aid this family. Mr. Heitz stated that, in his opinion, the law requires public/accredited school attendance for this family's child and this is the only option.

The member family was concerned they would be forced to place their child in public school and contacted HSLDA for advice. Attorney Scott Woodruff explained that a family in Iowa may submit either standardized test scores or a portfolio review evaluation and advised the family to find a certified teacher who would be willing to do a portfolio evaluation for their child, to show adequate academic progress.

The family acted promptly and found a certified teacher to help them with portfolios for their child.

On September 9, 2001, the family received a letter from Mr. Heitz:

I am in receipt of your letter showing that [the certified teacher] has determined that [your child] has made adequate progress for the 2000-2001 school year. With this information [your child] has met the guidelines for adequate progress laid out in Iowa Code 299A.6. He may continue to receive competent private instruction.

We praise God for this victory.

- Scott A. Woodruff