The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XIX, NUMBER 3
- disclaimer -
May / June 2003


FEATURES
A season to encourage

Burnt toast & sticky cards

A letter to my parents

The spiritual power of a mother
National Center hosts 2003 Summit
Farris addresses social workers

DEPARTMENTS
Along the way

Homeschool litigation: preparing the way
Freedom Watch

What's ahead in 2003?
From the heart
Across the states
Active Cases
Members only
About Campus
President's page

Good judges make good decisions

ET AL.

Prayer & Praise

a contrario sensu (on the other hand)

HSLDA legal contacts for November/December 2002



  LEGAL/LEGISLATIVE UPDATES  



ACROSS THE STATES

AR · CA · FL · IL · IN · KY · LA · MD · MO · MT · ND · NM · NY · OH · OK · OR · TN · TX · VA · WY

VIRGINIA

Test time

Homeschoolers who educate their children under the homeschool statute, 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia, must also submit an annual assessment to the superintendent's office by August 1. This assessment usually takes the form of standardized test scores and may be fulfilled by taking the test that the public school administers, currently the Stanford 9. Because of this option, most school districts send a letter each year to remind homeschoolers when the testing session will be and that they must notify the school if they intend to utilize the testing service.

On January 6, Roanoke City Public Schools sent a letter to the parents of homeschooled students with information about available testing. Unfortunately, the letter went further and tried to elicit information as to the family's own plans for year end assessment. When families did not reply, the school system made unwelcome phone calls asking parents how they intended to assess their children. Well-informed parents protected their privacy and refused to provide this information.

Under Virginia law, families are not required to disclose in advance the assessment method they intend to use. We have contacted school officials and urged them to make no more such phone calls.

In a related incident, an HSLDA member family notified HSLDA about a letter received from Colonial Heights District Instructional Specialist Brian Campos. The letter gave the impression that the only test a family could use is the Stanford 9 being given by the public schools.

HSLDA asked Mr. Campos to reword the letter to avoid this confusion. We explained that any nationally standardized test is acceptable per both the statute and the state superintendent's office. He courteously agreed to adjust the letter, and we anticipate less confusion next year.

Scott A. Woodruff