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New York

June 29, 2007

Annual Assessment Woes

As the 2006-2007 school year drew to a close, many homeschool families in New York prepared for their year-end assessments. While some let out a sigh of relief as they submitted their final report, several other homeschool families received disturbing contacts from their school districts.

In one case, the Spencerport Central School District refused to recognize the testing accommodations recommended by the family’s professional evaluator. Home School Legal Defense Association quickly contacted the district and informed them that the school district has no authority to determine the manner in which the test is administered. The district’s only authority is in regard to the person chosen by parents to administer the annual assessment.

Several other parents were contacted and told that they would not be permitted to administer the annual assessment test, or write narrative evaluations for their own children. So far this year, York Central, Ballston Spa Central, and Bemus Point Central school districts have given homeschool parents difficulties in administering the annual assessment.

Under New York law, parents are qualified to administer the annual assessment with the consent of the superintendent. Over the years, HSLDA has worked very hard to support parents in their choice of an administrator to conduct the annual assessment. Often we are successful. HSLDA believes local school superintendents should exercise good faith in determining who may administer the assessment, instead of simply denying them based on their relationship to the student.

In this coming school year, if you receive any such notice from your school district, please contact HSLDA.