August 17, 2001

Sample Letter on H.R. 1 and S. 1
See Federal Alert Update—Committee Considers Step Toward National Test for more information.

[DATE]

The Honorable [FULL NAME]
United States [{Representative} or {Senate}]
Washington, DC [{20515} House or {20510} Senate]

Dear [{Representative} or {Senator}] [LAST NAME]:

I am writing you concerning the No Child Left Behind Act (H.R. 1) and the Better Education for Students and Teachers Act (S.1), which are before the Education Conference Committee for reconciliation. There are two specific provisions in H.R. 1 that I feel are very important and should be kept in the language of the final bill despite the fact they are not in the language of S. 1.

The first provision prohibits the National Assessment Education Progress test from becoming a mandatory test. My concern with a mandatory NAEP test is that it would by default lead to a national curriculum—because what is tested is what will be taught. I believe Congress should allow states to use an alternative test in lieu of NAEP, leaving the states to choose which tests to administer.

The second provision protects home schoolers from being required to take any test that is "referenced in this act." It is my belief that if states can require home schoolers to take these federally mandated tests, the effectiveness of home schooling could be damaged. Such a regulation of home schooling will burden my family and suppress the creativity that has contributed to the great success of home schooling nationwide.

Home schoolers have earned the right to be left alone. On average, they are scoring in the 80th percentile on all standardized achievement tests. Studies show that the regulation of home schoolers makes no difference in their educational performance but only serves to burden them with government red tape.

I want to encourage you to vote to include both of these provisions in the final bill.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]