The Home School Court Report
No. 3

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Assessment FAQs

As the 2007–08 school year draws to a close, Ohio homeschooling parents are scheduling annual assessments.* Here are some of the most common questions that arise at this time:

When is my assessment due? Ohio law requires homeschooling parents to submit an assessment with their annual notification, which is typically filed in August or early September. Some public school officials request the assessment to “close out” the previous year, but if you do not plan to homeschool a child in the coming year, you are not required to submit that child’s assessment. Confusion often occurs with graduating seniors, but the same rule applies—no assessment is due.

What are my assessment options? Ohio parents may choose from one of three options: a) standardized testing, b) certified teacher review, or c) another assessment (work samples, report card, etc.) agreed upon by the parents and the superintendent.

Must I use the same assessment method each year? No. Parents may use a different type of assessment each year, according to their child’s age, maturity level, temperament, etc.

What kind of standardized tests may I use? Ohio law requires use of a nationally normed standardized achievement test. Any test that fits this description is acceptable. Many homeschoolers use the Stanford Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, or the California Achievement Test, though these are not your only options.

Who can administer my child’s standardized test? A currently certified Ohio teacher, the public school, a person agreed upon by the parents and the superintendent, or a person “duly authorized by the publisher of the test” may legally administer the test. Some publishers authorize parents to administer the test to their own children. To find out if a parent may administer the test you have chosen, ask the company from which you ordered it.

Who can perform my child’s portfolio review? An Ohio certified teacher or other person agreed upon by the parents and the superintendent may evaluate your child’s portfolio. To obtain approval from the superintendent to use a noncertified teacher, submit a written request with basic information about the person’s credentials, offering additional information to the superintendent as needed.

If you have additional assessment questions not addressed here, please contact Home School Legal Defense Association.

— by Michael P. Donnelly

* See “A plethora of forms.”