Help! My Child Is Smart, but a Horrible Test Taker

by Pamela Hall Have you ever noticed that some kids who seem to not know much, do well on tests… but then, there are kids that are smart, articulate, and able to problem-solve, but their tests scores don’t soar? What…

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Testing with a Local School

Q. When I filed my Notice of Intent, the school district offered to test my child in the spring with the Iowa test. They said not many homeschoolers use this free service. Is there a reason? A. A few school…

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Testing and the Composite Score

Q. When testing, do you administer all or part of the standardized achievement test? A. The Virginia homeschool statute, § 22.1-254.1 (C), requires a composite score in or above the 4th stanine on a standardized achievement test. A composite score…

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Testing If Behind in One Subject

Q. My two elementary-age children did not do well in math, so I put them back one grade level in math when we began homeschooling in  September. They are doing well in other subjects. Do I have to test them…

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Testing at Public School

Q. Must my child take the history and science portions of a standardized achievement test when he takes the test at a public school? A. The law requires that a parent submit “evidence that the child has attained a composite…

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Common Core and Achievement Tests

Q. I’m concerned that my standardized achievement test is aligned with the Common Core and I don’t know it. How can I find out? This is a valid concern. Although we expect new versions of tests to move toward alignment…

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Testing Special Needs

Q. I have a child who is struggling to learn. I may need to have him tested, but I don’t know where to begin. Can you help? A. I know this can be a challenging situation for you and for…

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When To Test

Q. When should homeschoolers test? A. If you decide to use a standardized achievement test, the law requires you to provide a composite test score in or above the fourth stanine (23 percentile) by August 1 each year (§22.1-254.1 (C)….

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NOI Denied Without Test Scores

Q. We homeschooled last year but didn’t test because my teen wanted to go to public school this year. After eight weeks, I took him out and filed a NOI to begin homeschooling, but the superintendent denied my NOI because…

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Response Letter

Q. I received a Notice of Intent response letter from my superintendent stating that my child must be tested in the spring and results sent by August 1. My child is a five-year-old kindergartener. Is this correct and what should…

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Stopped Homeschooling – What To Do

Q. I filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) a few weeks ago, but have since enrolled my children in private school. What should I do about the NOI? A. Although the law does not require you to notify the superintendent…

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2015 PSAT Information Update

The PSAT® is scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, 2015. A homeschooler must register for the PSAT® at the local public high school in the school district in which he resides or at another school close by. Some larger private schools also provide…

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Test Scores Lost or Late

Q. What happens if a parent fails to send in test scores or sends them in late? A. If a parent does not provide test results or an evaluation letter—or if a parent sends test results after the August 1…

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SOLs and Reenrollment

Q. Is there a law that requires homeschooled students to make up missed SOL’s if they re-enrolled in public school? A. Public schools may—and often do—require SOL testing for transfer students, whether from homeschools, private schools, or out-of-state schools. If…

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AP Test

Q. My teen would like to take the Japanese AP exam from the public school next year. They do not offer this course. Can she still take the exam at the school? A. Yes, §22.1-254.1(F) states that local school boards…

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Evaluator Requirements

Q. What do I need to do to become certified as an evaluator for homeschool students? A. Special training or evaluator certification is not required to become an evaluator for homeschooled students. The testing statute, 22.1-254.1 (C), states the parent…

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Testing a Kindergartener

Q. I recently received a letter from my county superintendent saying my kindergartener must be tested. I didn’t think I needed to test this year. What should I do? A. Don’t be alarmed by this testing reminder. You have likely…

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Testing Level

Q. Which test level should I use to show educational progress? The one for the present year or the one for the year my child will be entering next fall? A. Unless the test publisher gives different ordering instructions, a…

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Evaluation Letter Contents

Q. What should be included in an evaluation letter? A. An evaluation letter should be written on letterhead with contact information and signed with the evaluator’s title and credentials. He may want to include documents that substantiate his educational background…

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Testing Early

Q. I tested my son in October when we began homeschooling. Can I submit these test results or do I need to test him again? A. A baseline test early in the year may provide helpful information as you begin…

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Evaluating Your Own Child

Q. Since I have a teaching license, can I evaluate my own child rather than use a standardized achievement test? A. The law allows a parent who has complied with the homeschool statute (filed a Notice of Intent form) to…

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SAT, PSAT & ACT Enactment Date

Q. Can I use the PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores in lieu of standardized test scores for my high school student this year? A. HB 1754 and SB 1403 have both passed and are now awaiting Governor McAuliffe’s signature before…

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Test Level

Q. Our son is working below grade level on some subjects, though he tested fine on the end-of-year, grade-level test. After I submitted his results, the school district indicated he should test at the next higher grade level. I don’t…

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Testing If Child Is 18

Q. If my child turns 18 this year, do I need to I notify the superintendent? And will we be required by law to provide testing scores for this past school year? A. No, the law does not require you…

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How to Evaluate a Child

Q. For an evaluation, it says the child must show progress. Since my special needs child is behind in several subjects, will that affect her evidence of progress? A. Being behind in some subjects would be more evident on a…

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CAT-5 Test Change

Q. I understand the CAT-5 survey test is being phased out. Is there another test that covers only what the law requires? A. The TerraNova test is replacing the outdated California Achievement test (CAT). It is published by the same…

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PSAT Changes in 2015

Q. I know the SAT exam is being redesigned, but will the PSAT change, too? A. Yes, the College Board is revising the PSAT/NMSQT test along with the SAT. The new PSAT exam is scheduled to be in the hands…

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PSAT® Test Registration

Q. Where do I register my high school student for the PSAT®? A. A Homeschooler must register for the PSAT® at the local public high school in the school district in which he resides or another school close by. Some…

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Testing Deadline Missed!

  Q. What can I do if I miss the August 1 testing deadline? A. Although the deadline is very close, you still have a few options. An online version of the California Achievement Test is available for students in…

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Assessment Evaluators

Q. Who can evaluate my child in order to comply with the law? A. The answer depends on the option you have chosen for the evaluation. If you have filed a Notice of Intent form, you have several options for…

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