The Home School Court Report
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Ninth Circuit Upholds Family Privacy and Parental Authority

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Tidbits & Trivia

Santa Fe gets an average of nine inches more snow each year than New Haven, Connecticut.

New Mexico

Standardized Confusion

This year, the state legislature mandated annual standardized testing for public school children in grades three through nine. Now, the New Mexico State Department of Education is trying to determine whether it should change its regulations regarding the testing of home school students. (By the time you read this article, the decision may have already been made.)

Currently, the law requires that a person operating a home school shall test students annually according to the statewide and local school district testing programs as determined by the state superintendent.

The most current regulation regarding testing home school students was issued on November 17, 1997, by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis. All home school children in grades four, six, and eight are required to participate in the state mandated New Mexico achievement assessment program and the norm-referenced CTBS/Terra Nova Survey Plus for the subjects of reading, language and mathematics. An option to this test is the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, form L, from Bob Jones University Press Testing Service.

Since the legislature has required testing for public school students in grades three through nine, some people suggest that the same should be required for home school children. However, Home School Legal Defense Association does not believe the law requires the state superintendent to mandate the same testing for home schoolers. The statute does give the state superintendent authority to determine the frequency of home schoolers’ participation in the statewide and local school district testing.

Home School Legal Defense Association is urging the state superintendent to maintain the present home school testing schedule of grades four, six, and eight with the option of BJU Press Testing Service. There is no good reason to change. HSLDA will keep our members informed on the outcome of this discussion with the state superintendent’s office.