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2/20/2008 12:16:18 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Urgent Action Needed for Assessment Bill!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Virginia--Urgent Action Needed for Assessment Bill!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your story needs to be told! If you have had a bad experience with a
school system rejecting a year-end assessment (other than a
standardized test), the members of the Senate Health and Education
Committee need to hear your story this afternoon.

Tomorrow morning is a crucial test for H.B. 1183, the bill that will
change the law so superintendents must consider portfolios, teacher
evaluations, and report cards. This afternoon is our last opportunity
to bring our message to the committee, and we need your phone calls.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Whether or not your senator is on the committee, call several of the
senators listed below if you have ever had a portfolio, teacher
evaluation, or report card (from a correspondence course, etc.)
rejected without proper consideration. Hearing your story may make a
tremendous difference to some senators.

Please call your own senator. The location of each senator's district
office is listed below, giving an approximate area they represent. Use
our Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to find out
for sure who your senator is.

In addition to calling your own senator, please call other senators.
If your last name begins with A through G, call senators in group 1.
If your last name begins with J through M, call senators in group 2.
If it begins with N through R, call group 3. Others call group 4.

Your message can be as simple as "Superintendents have been rejecting
good year-end homeschool assessments without even looking at them.
Please vote in favor of H.B. 1183. It simply requires that three
types of assessments be given consideration. It does not change the
fact that the assessment must show adequate progress."

Please let other homeschool families know that calls are urgently
needed!

Senate Education and Health Committee members:

Group 1
R. Edward Houck (804) 698-7517, Spotsylvania
John C. Miller (804) 698-7501, Newport News
Ralph S. Northam (804) 698-7506 Norfolk

Group 2
George L. Barker (804) 698-7539, Alexandria
L. Louise Lucas (804) 698-7518, Portsmouth
Harry B. Blevins (804) 698-7514, Chesapeake
Mary Margaret Whipple (804) 698-7531, Arlington

Group 3
Stephen R. Martin (804) 698-7511, Chesterfield
Stephen D. Newman (804) 698-7523, Forest
John S. Edwards (804) 698-7521, Roanoke

Group 4
Richard D. Saslaw (804) 698-7535, Springfield
Janet D. Howell (804) 698-7532, Reston
Mamie Locke (804) 698-7502, Hampton

BACKGROUND
Last year we saw a dramatic surge in unreasonable rejections of
perfectly good assessments. Assessments with basically identical
essential content that had been accepted previously were being
rejected. New demands were being made. There was tremendous
uncertainty because superintendents kept changing the rules.

Unfortunately, Virginia law currently gives only one clear option: a
standardized test. Anything else a family submits can be rejected at
the whim of the superintendent. Many other states give families
several clear choices, providing much-needed flexibility.

House Bill 1183 will give parents three new options:

1. A letter from a person licensed to teach in any state, or a person
employed as a teacher in a private school in Virginia, or a person
with a master's degree or higher in the field of education, stating
that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth
and progress;

2. A portfolio containing a sample of the child's work from each
quarter in math and language arts that demonstrates the child is
achieving an adequate level of annual educational growth and progress;


3. A report card or transcript from a private school in Virginia,
college, community college, or college distance learning program, or
home education correspondence school.

There are many reasons families might not want to use standardized
tests. Standardized test results do not accurately reflect the
progress of some children. For others, scoring at the 20th percentile
could be an excellent score for them individually, but the law
currently considers any score below 23rd percentile to be failing.

H.B 1183 does not change the standard. Each of the above type of
assessment would still need to show that the child made adequate
progress. H.B. 1183 simply assures families that their assessments
will not be rejected without being given fair consideration.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely Yours,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home,
teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
legislation for you -- watching and listening carefully for any
proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.
Join HSLDA today-we'll watch out for your future.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1942

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