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North Dakota Legislation Would Increase Testing Requirements on Homeschoolers
On December 30, 2002, the House Education Committee of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly introduced a bill at the request of the Superintendent of Public Instruction which could effectively destroy home education in North Dakota. This is not an exaggeration.
Designated as House Bill 1182, this legislation would require homeschool students to meet the state content and achievement standards on the state tests required of public school students. Since the state standards are derived from the public school curriculum, parents conducting home instruction will be forced to use public school textbooks in order to teach the same content. Home education in North Dakota would essentially become public school at home.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires states to test public school students on state content and achievement standards at various grade levels. However, the federal law prohibits states from including homeschool students in this testing. If North Dakota wants to continue to receive federal funds for education, it must enact a law to require additional testing of public school students, but the Superintendent of Public Instruction is wrongly attempting to include homeschool students.
This bill must be defeated before it gains any momentum. It is crucial that North Dakota homeschoolers contact their state representatives to express opposition to this bill.
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