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3/12/2004 4:11:36 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Tennessee--Testing of Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 12, 2004


Tennessee--Testing of Homeschoolers


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

You may have received a memorandum dated March 1, 2004, from Dr.
Randy Hankins of the Tennessee Department of Education advising you
that certain end-of-course tests are required for homeschool
students. Specifically, Dr. Hankins' memorandum states that students
in grade nine who are not associated with a church-related school and
students in grades nine through twelve who are associated with a
church-related school must take the following tests if enrolled in
these courses: Math Foundations II, Algebra I, English I, English II,
and Biology I.

It is our opinion based upon the language of the homeschool statute,
the legislative history, and constitutional considerations that
homeschool students do not have to take the end-of-course tests
described in Dr. Hankins' memorandum.

On April 6, 1996, I sent a letter to an attorney at the Tennessee
Department of Education, explaining the reasons for our opinion when
this issue was first raised six years ago. To view this letter go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1400 We are prepared to defend our
members in court should this become necessary.

Homeschool students not associated with a church-related school must
take the same standardized tests required of public school students
in grades five, seven, and nine. The state intends to administer the
TCAP Achievement Test to students in grades five and seven. We
believe these tests are required for students not associated with a
church-related school.

Dr. Hankins' memorandum also speaks of testing by church-related
schools. Homeschool students associated with a church-related school
are only required to be tested by the school if it administers tests
to its regular day students. Church-related schools do not have to
test homeschool students as part of any state testing.

Should you be contacted further about taking the end-of-course tests
and wish to discuss this further with us, please do not hesitate to
contact my legal assistant, Jonathan Bechtle, or me.


Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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