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Iowa

October 24, 2006

To Test or Not to Test—That Is the Question

On October 13, a representative of the Urbandale school system sent a letter to all homeschool families concerning the availability of testing. She made an unauthorized demand, however, when she wrote: “As you know all children over the age of 7 must take either the Iowa Test of Basic Skills at their neighborhood school or a standardized test at the Heartland AEA annually.” This is not correct.

Families can choose from a number of standardized tests—or they can forego a standardized test altogether and submit a year-end portfolio review by a licensed Iowa teacher. If they choose the standardized test option, their student is not required to go to a school building to take it. (And of course families with a supervising teacher do not need to submit any year-end testing.)

The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators quickly responded to this situation and HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff followed up. He called the official who had written the letter. She acknowledged her error and confirmed that she would send a letter of correction.