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No. 2

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District acknowledges errors

In Iowa, school districts are required to send yearly notification of the annual assessment requirements to local homeschoolers. This year, Camanche Community School's notice contained numerous errors.

First, the notice failed to mention that parents not under a supervising teacher may either assess their child annually or have a portfolio assessment.

Second, the notice stated that the only test that could be given was the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, when in actuality any nationally recognized standardized achievement evaluation may be given.

Lastly, the notice stated that parents could not administer the test, despite the fact that a parent may administer the test as a nonpublic school as long as the parent meets the protocol of the test publisher. The notification gave the dates for the exam's administration by the district and the area education agency, but did not state that nonpublic schools are also eligible to administer the test.

After a Home School Legal Defense Association member informed our office about the notification, Staff Attorney Scott Woodruff sent a letter to HSLDA members in the Camanche School District, advising them to disregard the notice unless they were using the annual assessment option and assessing through the public school.

HSLDA then contacted the school and highlighted the errors in the annual assessment notification. To the school officials' credit, they acknowledged the inaccuracies, changed the notice for future use, and agreed to send a corrected notification to the homeschool families within the district.

—by Scott A. Woodruff