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No. 4

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Schools Demand Approval of Test

Each year, homeschooling families in Hawaii receive letters from local school officials offering to test their children at the public school. This year, however, some parents have received letters warning that if they want to test their children outside of the public school they must obtain approval to do so.

For instance, Home School Legal Defense Association member families in Mililani received a letter this year from the local elementary school. The letter stated that parents were required to contact the school within two weeks if they intended to use a privately administered test instead of bringing their children to the school to be tested.

Under Hawaii law, parents are required to provide an annual progress report to the local public school at the end of the school year. In grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, a child must be tested either by the Hawaii State Assessment or any test that is “comparable to the appropriate criterion or norm-referenced tests used by the department.”

Parents only need to seek the approval of the school when they want to use a test that is not “comparable.” The Hawaii Administrative Rules authorize the principal to approve other means of evaluation to meet the statewide testing program requirements.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt contacted the Mililani Uka Elementary School on behalf of all of our members. He advised the school that under state law, homeschooling parents have the right to privately test their children using a comparable test without the principal’s approval. Since then, homeschooling parents have had no more difficulties with this school.

If you receive a similar letter, please contact HSLDA immediately.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt