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9/4/2003 5:45:54 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Indiana--Governor's Education Roundtable - a potential threat to homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 4, 2003

Dear HSLDA Member or Friend:

State Agency's Proposed Plan May Threaten Home Schooler's College
Admission, Financial Aid

A state advisory agency called the "Education Roundtable" is poised
to put its final touches on a plan that has the potential to
dramatically undercut the ability of private school students,
including homeschoolers, to choose their own curriculum, be admitted
to college and get scholarships and financial aid. Their plan is
called "P-16."

Roundtable members include Governor O'Bannon and state superintendent
Dr. Suellen Reed, several state legislators, and several members of
the state Board of Education.

The votes of each individual member of the Roundtable are not
recorded, so you do not know how your public officials voted on the
plan. We have faxed a letter to Governor O'Bannon asking him to
state his personal position on several crucial issues, and to ask him
to support the Private School Protection amendment to the plan.

Action Requested:

1. The next public meeting of the Roundtable is September 16, at 1:30
P.M. in Ballrooms C and D of the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis.
Please attend the meeting to make it clear to this agency that
homeschoolers are concerned, and to support amending the plan by
adding the Private School Protection amendment.

2. Submit comments about the plan at the agency's website,
http://www.edroundtable.state.in.us/comments/Public_comment.htm Your
message can be as simple as, "The P-16 plan threatens families who
educate their children through home-based private schools. Please
amend the plan by adding the Private School Protection amendment to
protect these families. Please record how each Roundtable member
votes each time there is a vote."

Attach the Private School Protection amendment, which is in the
"Background" section below, to your comments.

3. Familiarize yourself with P-16. Parts that are most troublesome
are listed in the "Background" section below. Read the entire plan,
which is available at
www.edroundtable.state.in.us/roundtable_files/030826p16plan.pdf and
also on HSDLA's website at www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1066.

4. Pass this on. These issues affect all Indiana parents, not just
homeschoolers.

Background

1) To read the letter we faxed to Governor O'Bannon about P-16, go
to www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1067.

2) Private School Protection amendment:

"Private secondary schools, out of state students, and international
students. All recommendations in this report apply only to students
in public schools in Indiana. Private school, out of state and
international students are taught using a variety of curricula.
College polices regarding admissions, remediation, scholarships, and
financial aid must not treat these students less favorably simply
because they were taught a curriculum other than the Core 40.

Only in-state public school students will take ECAs. Those tests
alone, therefore, cannot be used to compare the college aptitude of
an in-state public school student with an out-of-state, or private,
or foreign student. Because the college admissions process must be
fair, however, it is crucial that there be at least one component of
each student's total admissions package that provides a tool for
objectively comparing the college aptitude of students of all these
groups. The best available tool for this is the SAT and ACT.
Therefore, 4-year colleges should continue to require applicants to
submit the results of at least one nationally standardized college
aptitude test. ECAs are helpful, but cannot replace standardized
tests in the admissions process."

3) Would-be education reformers are pushing P-16 plans in many
states. All plans favor a centrally imposed curriculum and the
abolition of standardized college admissions tests for public school
students in favor of end-of-course assessments devised and graded by
education insiders.

4) P-16 plans seek to cause change primarily by altering
institutional policies rather than by legislation. In part because of
this, they have received little or no public scrutiny, even though
all their meetings are open to the public.

5) Many parts of P-16 are efforts to improve public schools and do
not pose a threat. Parts of the plan that are most troublesome,
however, state:

--"To date, completion of the Core 40 curriculum [the state-approved
curriculum] has been recommended by the state, but not required.
Indiana colleges continue to accept students who have not completed
this important college preparatory curriculum." (p. 22)

--"Align state college financial aid policies to maximize the
potential for college degree completion. Endorse Core 40 and Academic
Honors as the best preparation for success by providing incentives
for persistence and completion and disincentives for dropping out."
(p. 24, para 5)

--"Align college and university admissions standards and remediation
policies to support Core 40 as Indiana's high school graduation
requirement." (p. 24, para 6)

--"Align college and university admissions standards and remediation
policies to support Core 40 and Academic Honors as outlined in the
Ensuring College and Workforce Success section of this plan." (p. 31,
para 2)

--"High school and college faculty should work together to develop
assessments that replace existing college placement exams." (p. 24,
para 4)

--"Align End-of-Course Assessments (ECA) with college placement exams
for seamless transition from high school to college with the goal
being to replace college placement exams with ECAs." (p. 31, para 3)

6) If you wish to investigate further, the following websites are
helpful:

Indiana P-16 web site: http://www.edroundtable.state.in.us/

National P-16:
http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/24/28/2428.htm and
http://www.ecs.org/html/issue.asp?issueID=76

Georgia P-16
http://www.usg.edu/p16/about/index.phtml and
http://www.gcsu.edu/acad_affairs/school_ed/P16/

Illinois P-16
http://www.vpaa.uillinois.edu/reports_retreats/p16.asp?bch=0

Thank you for standing with us to protect home school freedom in
Indiana.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney


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