The Home School Court Report
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January / February 2004

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District places homeschoolers on probation

Home School Legal Defense Association assisted two families in the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District whose home instruction programs were placed on probation by the local superintendent. Both families had used the Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS) test approved by the New York State Education Department as their annual assessment, but the school district claimed that the students failed to achieve a composite score above the 33rd percentile on the test.

In each case, the students had scored below the 33rd percentile on only the language arts section of the test. Both students had scored above the 33rd percentile in mathematics and reading. According to the test's publisher, Hewitt Research Foundation, a composite score for the PASS test may be calculated by simply averaging the scores of the three subject areas. Using this method of calculation, both students achieved a composite score above the 33rd percentile.

After HSLDA's intervention, the local superintendent relented and agreed to accept Hewitt's interpretation of the test scores. (Note: Not all composite scores for standardized achievement tests are calculated by simply averaging scores in different subject areas.)

— Dewitt T. Black