The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XV, NUMBER 4
- disclaimer -
JULY / AUGUST 1999
Cover
Previous Issue  C  O  N  T  E  N  T  S  Next Issue


Cover Story
What Did the Founders Say? A Strategy to Bring Original Intent Back to U.S. Courts

Special Features
House Protects Liberty—When Money Is at Stake

Debate: The Clash of Skill, Wit, and Ideas

PHC Breaks New Ground

Touched By An Angel Responds to Home Schooler’s Concerns

National Center Reports
Straight A’s Bill Introduced

Marriage Penalty Tax Relief

New Plan Allows SSN Alternative for IRS Deductions

The Beginning of the End:National Teaching Certificates and Goals 2000

Military Recuitment of Home Schoolers Increasing

Across the States
State by State

Regular Features
Press Clippings

A Contrario Sensu

Prayer and Praise

Litigation Report

President’s Page

H  O  M  E     S  C  H  O  O  L  I  N  G     N  E  W  S     F  R  O  M
Across the States
AL · CA · DE · GA · HI · ID · IL · KY · LA · MD · MS · MT · NC · NE · NV · NY · OH · OR · SC · SD · TN · TX · WV · WY

Home School Heartbeat in Tennessee

Alcoa
WBCR
1470
AM
Bristol
WHCB
91.5
FM
Bristol
WPWT
870
AM
Calhoun
WYMA
97.9
FM
Church Hill
WMCH
1260
AM
Cookeville
WJNU-LP
96.9
FM
Hohenwald
WAUO
90.7
FM
Humboldt
WBOZ
104.9
FM
Humboldt
WSIB
93.9
FM
Humboldt
WTGP
97.7
FM
Humboldt
WVRY
105.1
FM
Humboldt
WWGM
93.1
FM
Jackson
WAMP
88.1
FM
Jamestown
WCLC
1260
AM
Jamestown
WCLC
105.1
FM
Jamestown
WSAB-LP
92.5
FM
Jamestown
WSGN
90.7
FM
Jasper
WWAM
820
AM
Kingsport
YSG
91.9
FM
Knoxville
WKXV
900
AM
Knoxville
WRJZ
620
AM
Lawrenceberg
WAWI
89.7
FM
Lenoir City
WBLC
1360
AM
Lexington
WIGH
88.7
FM
Mt. Pleasant
WXRQ
1460
AM
Nashville
WNAH
1360
AM
Pulaski
W234AW
97.7
FM
Ripley
WAUV
89.7
FM
Savannah
WAZD
88.1
FM
Savannah
WDNX
89.1
FM
Sneedville
WSDC
88.5
FM
Tullahoma
WAUT
88.5
FM
Tullahoma
WJIG
740
AM
Vonore
WTRL-LP
95.1
FM
Tennessee

26 Families Contacted in Knox County
    Home School Legal Defense Association has assisted 26 member families contacted by the Knox County Schools home school coordinator, who insisted that certain end-of-course tests be administered to their children. The home school coordinator’s position was based on a February 1, 1999, memorandum from James Abernathy, executive director of the Tennessee Department of Education. Abernathy stated that the end-of-course tests must be administered to students registered with a church-related school in grades 9 through 12 in the areas of Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and/or Math for Technology I if they were currently enrolled in one or more of these courses. HSLDA responded to the Knox County official, informing him that such tests were not required of home school students.
    Home schools in Tennessee are regulated exclusively by the provisions of Section 49-6-3050 of Tennessee Code Annotated. Subparagraph (a)(2)(B) of this statute requires home school students who are associated with a church-related school to be administered in grades 9 through 12 “an annual standardized achievement test or the Sanders Model of value-added assessment, whichever is in use by that LEA [local education agency] and is sanctioned by the state board of education.” Further relating to such students, subparagraph (a)(2)(C)(ii) requires parents to “adhere to the same program of the Sanders Model of value-added assessment, or other standardized achievement testing in use in the local education agency which the child would otherwise attend.” Clearly, the tests contemplated by Section 49-6-3050 for all home school students are standardized achievement tests, not any end-of-course tests as described in the February 1 memorandum from the department of education.
    End-of-course tests are text-specific according to the instruction received by public school students in Tennessee. Not only does Tennessee law not require home school students to participate in end-of-course tests, but such text-specific tests are fundamentally unfair, and, in HSLDA’s opinion, unconstitutional. Parents of students in home schools are free to choose any curriculum they deem appropriate for their children—and a wide variety of choices are available and being utilized in home schools. To require students to be tested on material in which they have not been instructed is obviously unfair and was so held by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the 1981 case of Debra P. v. Turlington, 644 F.2d 397. In that case, the court ruled that such tests violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution.
    After receiving letters from HSLDA on behalf of each of our member families contacted by the home school coordinator, no further effort was made to require the home school students to take the end-of-course tests. If necessary, HSLDA is prepared to litigate this issue to assert the inappropriateness and unconstitutionality of requiring such examinations for home school students.