Home School Court Report
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January / February 2005

State Legislation Summary—2004
2004 art contest

Our Judges

Winners of the three categories
PHC beats Oxford in debate
GenJ: Into the land

What are Generation Joshua & HSLDA PAC?

Sodrel: One very tight race . . .

Davis: In a dead heat

From the heart

2004 in review

From the director

Impact of the fund

Mission statement of HSF
Across the states
Active cases
Members only
About campus
President's page


On the other hand: a Contrario Sensu

HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise




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DPI embargoes standardized tests

Due to security concerns relating to the North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA), which is administered to public school students, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced in an October 12, 2004, memorandum that it had imposed an embargo on standardized tests published by CTB/McGraw-Hill. This included such nationally normed standardized achievement tests as the second edition of the TerraNova (CAT/6), the TerraNova CTBS, and the fifth edition of the California Achievement Test (CAT/5). According to the memo, this means that parents conducting home education programs will not be able to purchase tests published by CTB/McGraw-Hill until the embargo is lifted—even though students receiving home education are not required to take the NDSA.

Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Dewitt Black responded in a letter to DPI Testing Coordinator Jean Newborg that home education programs in North Dakota are governed exclusively by the provisions of § 15.1-23-01 et seq. of the North Dakota Century Code. Thus, local school districts and the DPI are without any authority to establish policies or procedures that add to or contradict the provisions of state law.

Section 15.1-23-09 of the code states that each child receiving home education must take a "standardized achievement test used by the school district in which the child resides or, if requested by the parent, . . . a nationally normed standardized achievement test." The choice of tests is to be made by the parent, not the school district or DPI. The code does not authorize DPI to determine which test publishers are acceptable. Accordingly, regardless of DPI's decision to impose an embargo on CTB/McGraw-Hill, parents conducting home education programs for their children continue to be entitled to use a nationally normed standardized achievement test sold by this publisher.

HSLDA member families encountering difficulties with school officials when submitting results from tests published by CTB/McGraw-Hill should contact us for assistance.

— by Dewitt T. Black