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2/11/2005 5:27:29 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Calls Needed - House Bill 1770: Possible Vote this Monday on Testing Freedom Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 11, 2005


Virginia--Calls Needed - House Bill 1770: Possible Vote this Monday on
Testing Freedom Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill that will guarantee that families have the power to choose
which nationally standardized test to use could be voted on by the
full Senate as early as Monday. Your help is needed to assure
victory.


ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call your senator and ask him to support HB 1770. Your
message may be as simple as, "Please support HB 1770, as amended by
the Senate Education and Health Committee. Homeschool parents in many
other states already have the freedom to test their children with a
nationally normed standardized test. This bill would guarantee that
Virginia homeschool parents have the same freedom."

Call the Constituent Viewpoint switchboard to leave a message for your
senator. You can use (800) 889-0229 if you live outside the Richmond
area or (804) 698-1990 if you live in Richmond.

If you do not know who your senator is, use our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2103

2. Check your email frequently. The Department of Education may try
to amend the bill to gain power over the tests homeschoolers can use.


BACKGROUND

1. Under the homeschool statute, parents have two testing options.
The first option involves the use of a standardized test that the
state has approved for use in the public schools. There are no
nationally standardized tests currently approved for use in the public
schools. Therefore, testing option 1 has become meaningless for
homeschoolers. HB 1770 helps protect the original intention of
testing option 1 while giving parents the flexibility to choose any
nationally standardized test.

2. As originally introduced, HB 1770 gave the Department of Education
the power to choose which tests could be used under option 1, and
which evaluations or assessments could be used under option 2. If HB
1770 had passed as it was introduced, it would have given the state
unprecedented power over homeschool families.

A favorable Attorney General opinion said that homeschoolers could use
any nationally standardized test under testing option 2. An Attorney
General opinion, however, can be ignored by a court. Furthermore,
testing option 2 is not advantageous for some families because the
standard for "passing" is subjective since the student must show an
"adequate level of educational growth and progress."

Testing option 1 has an objective standard for "passing" which is in
or above the Fourth stanine.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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