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New York

September 13, 2004

Parents Want to Administer Assessments

Over the past few months, Home School Legal Defense Association has received many calls from member families seeking to administer the standardized achievement test or alternative written evaluation to their own children. Many of these parents have administered the annual assessments to their children for more than 10 years. Yet these families were surprised to receive a notice from their public schools denying them this option.

So far this year the school districts of Cortland, New Hartford, Saugerties, and Voorheesville have informed homeschool parents that they may not conduct the required annual assessment themselves. Parents were told that they could either have their children tested through the local public school or they could find, often for a fee, another person to administer the assessment.

HSLDA Attorney Thomas Schmidt wrote to each school district informing them that New York law does permit a parent to administer the annual assessment with the consent of the superintendent.

Under § 100.10 of the Commissioner's Regulations, a parent can choose either a New York certified teacher or any qualified person to administer a standardized achievement test. For the alternative written evaluation a parent can choose a New York certified teacher, a peer review panel (often from the local support group), or any other person. Even the state department of education affirms that a parent can administer the annual assessment, albeit with the consent of the superintendent.

HSLDA has, for the most part, been successful in convincing these school districts to permit parents to administer the annual assessment. However, difficulties like these demonstrate the need for greater homeschool freedom in New York.