May 3, 2010

Philadelphia Demands More Testing

In the middle of the spring 2010 school semester, the interim regional superintendent of the northwest region of The School District of Philadelphia sent a letter to all homeschooling parents within the region demanding more standardized testing of homeschool students. The letter stated that standardized tests were required to be administered to students in grades 3 through 8 and 11. Results of the tests were to be included in the portfolio of records and materials submitted to the school district at the end of the school year.

After a Home School Legal Defense Association member family contacted us for assistance, Senior Counsel Dewitt Black wrote a letter to the school official and informed her that state law governing home education programs only requires standardized testing in grades 3, 5, and 8. Black went on to say that the member family would not be including test results for any other grade levels with the portfolio submitted at the end of the school year.

This is not the first time that HSLDA has encountered school districts attempting to impose additional standardized testing on homeschool students. However, in each case, we have been able to resolve the matter with a letter to the school official who was either misinformed or was disregarding the limitations set forth in state law. Any member families encountering this difficulty during the 2010–11 school year should contact us for assistance.