May 3, 2002

Fraud in California Causes Testing Problems for Home Schoolers

Due to the unscrupulous actions of one family, the publisher of the Stanford Achievement Test is refusing to allow the Bob Jones University (BJU) testing service to sell the tests to home schoolers without proof that the family is actually home schooling. The publisher of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills is in the process of taking the same step.

Home School Legal Defense Association has received information that at least one parent in California whose child is enrolled in public school ordered a test from BJU by pretending to be a home schooling family. They used the test to practice before taking the same test at school. In addition, the family also told other parents at the school that they could take the same route.

Nine states require home schoolers to participate in standardized testing, and even in states where it's not required, many home school families test to measure their children's progress. Although there are several places where standardized tests can be purchased by home schoolers, BJU is one of the largest suppliers.

For now, home schoolers wishing to purchase the Stanford Achievement Test must provide BJU with proof of their home schooling. HSLDA members can use their current HSLDA membership card to provide this proof. Other possibilities are a receipt showing purchase of curriculum within the last twelve months, proof of current membership in a local home school organization, or a notice of intent with a reply from the school district.

BJU is continuing to negotiate with the publishers to resolve this difficulty, and we at HSLDA will endeavor to keep you informed as to the progress of these negotiations.

Problems like this only emphasize the difficulties that families can encounter due to over-abundant government regulation. In states that have mandatory testing, superintendents may try to force home schoolers to take the test in public school. If you are an HSLDA member and your school district attempts this, please contact HSLDA so that we can assist you.