View Full Version : What are your yearly assessment requirements, if any?

06-14-2013, 08:49 AM
Do you do standardized tests, annual portfolio reviews, does your state have no requirements, or is it something different?

06-14-2013, 11:56 AM
We have three options:

1. Standardized test
2. Progress report and work samples
3. Assessment by a third party that both parents and school district agree upon

We opt for #2. I type up a one-page summary, organized by academic subject, for each kid and attach a (very long) list of the books we used. I've never bothered with the work samples and haven't been asked for them. There's a new asst. superintendent in charge of homeschooling this year, so we'll see how much of a stickler she'll be about it.

06-14-2013, 12:21 PM
We have three options:

1. Standardized test
2. Progress report and work samples
3. Assessment by a third party that both parents and school district agree upon

We opt for #2. I type up a one-page summary, organized by academic subject, for each kid and attach a (very long) list of the books we used. I've never bothered with the work samples and haven't been asked for them. There's a new asst. superintendent in charge of homeschooling this year, so we'll see how much of a stickler she'll be about it.

I wish that we had option 2. I really like that. I always include something in our portfolio reviews that is similar...mostly because we "unschool" (i hate using that because it isn't the right word) most of our subjects and I honestly don't keep the best logs for those. If I stuck with just the "log of educational activities" it would look like they did math and language arts only...so I write up a summary of all of the activities we do in other subjects and only provide a log for the book-work. Haven't been asked to provide more in 4 years. My reviewer insists on a sample from the beginning and end but even with those I only give her the book-work.

06-14-2013, 12:40 PM
I voted none, because that's how it is in practical terms. In reality, the not-a-state requires us to keep a "portfolio of materials" which they can call on us to review up to three times a year (I think it's three). They have no budget. No one has ever been reviewed to my knowledge.

06-14-2013, 01:29 PM
We have to administer a nationally normed achievement test annually starting in first grade, but there is no minimum score and generally no one is required to submit results. I believe there are six employees at the DNPE, which covers all private schools (~96,000 kids) and homeschools (50,000 homes; they don't track the exact number of kids) in a hundred counties.

06-14-2013, 01:32 PM
Maine requires either a standardized test or portfolio review by any certified teacher. We go the portfolio route; I keep mine kind of like a scrapbook. I find the group portfolio review fun, since we get to see what other people use and how they set up their days. Apparently homeschooling has become so big here that we now have an official person on the state level who deals with it. I'm hoping that doesn't mean more regulation; the governor is pretty hard core against public education though, so I kind of doubt it.

Accidental Homeschooler
06-14-2013, 02:39 PM
We can do the portfolio review, standardized testing or participate in the Homeschool Assistance Program through the school district. We chose the third option so I write a brief report describing how we covered each subject and meet for thirty minutes with the HSAP teacher. I have found it to be a fairly pleasant experience so far.

06-14-2013, 02:47 PM
Nothing. At all. Not even notification.

I don't NJ has a person "in charge" of homeschooling. It's allowed as part of the regular schooling requirements under a provision that allows for "equivalent instruction".

06-14-2013, 03:37 PM
Diddly-squat. They don't even know we exist.

06-14-2013, 04:23 PM
In grades 1-3 we can send in a narrative (usually the parents can write it themselves). In grades 4-8 we have to give a standardized test at least every other year. In grades 9-12 we have to give a standardized test every year. The student must score at the 33% or above or show a years worth of growth. We do the CAT.

06-14-2013, 05:04 PM
I'm very jealous of the people who don't have to do anything. I have been mulling over going the FL Unschooler's route and may just do it next year.

06-14-2013, 05:45 PM
In Alaska, if you school through a distance ed program, like we do, you have to do quarterly work samples for each "class" on your ILP (Individual Learning Plan or something), 2x yearly progress reports and, starting in 3rd grade, state "Standards Based Assessment" tests. If you homeschool independently, you don't have to do anything. At. All.

Work samples and progress reports don't have to be "approved" or anything, they just have to be on file.

06-14-2013, 05:46 PM
We have 2 choices: we can either join an umbrella group and all accountability becomes their problem OR we can choose to do a portfolio review with our local Board of Ed twice each school year (once for the 1st semester and once for the 2nd).

We take the BoE route only because the only non-religious umbrella in our area is fracking expensive and a bit of a joke. Last year's review w/the BoE was not bad at all. The reviewer was thorough, chatted well w/DD, critiqued without being overly critical and I liked her a lot. This year's reviewer was a wombat. Total waste of time. She didn't look at a single writing or math example and prattled about nonsensical things. I've had playdates that led to deeper conversations.

06-14-2013, 07:51 PM
If I remember right we have the choice of a test evaluation or a third party assessment. Since he's never been in a state run school my understanding is that we don't have to do an assessment until he's 8.

Stella M
06-14-2013, 08:01 PM
Once every two years the registration lady shows up, has a look at some samples of work, some samples of my lousy record keeping and my programs for the children, gives us two years registration and goes.

And that's it. Very minimal oversight, although there are rumours of things getting tougher...

06-14-2013, 08:57 PM
Choice of standardized test, portfolio review, standardized test administered at public school (NECAP), or another mutually agreed upon evaluation tool.

As of last year, we still have to do the yearly evaluation, but we don't have to submit it to our participating agency. We just have to keep it for our records. Pretty easy. I do the CAT.

06-14-2013, 10:54 PM
I didn't know they required work samples. They did mention in our approval letter this year that they wanted to see some in the spring, but I just ignored it. Last year we just sent in a progress report, which is what I plan to do again this year when I have the time (so probably late August).

My town asks for work samples in the paperwork but I ignore them. They also have silly ideas about five hours of daily academic instruction, which I also ignore. :)

06-14-2013, 11:14 PM
Nothing here. They don't know that homeschoolers exist. No registering, reporting, testing.

06-15-2013, 07:25 PM
In BC, you notify the province annually, in writing, that you are homeschooling. That is that. No oversight.

Or, you can register with a "Distributed Learning" school. There are provincial, private and faith-based schools to choose from. The teachers with these schools must be BC-certified teachers, and they each have different ways of measuring progress. They pressure us to have our kids sit for the G4 and G7 standardized exams, but it is very easy to file a four sentence exemption letter. Our school requires a portfolio submission three times during the school year. In exchange, the student gets a provincial report card, and eventually, a Dogwood Diploma (high school diploma).

The DL schools receive a reduced stipend for each registered student, a portion of which ($1000ish) they pass along to the family for approved learning materials. Some schools offer "extras" in their recruitment of families. Ipad, anyone?

06-16-2013, 03:21 PM
i chose standardized test, but its not quite true. there are actually a ton of options.

the most common and easiest is to do any nationally normed test and score above 23rd percentile. most people use a 25 yo copy of the CAT test, which only tests math and english, costs $25, and can be done at home - 6 subtests, about 20 minutes each. i spread it over a week

you can also hand in an evaluation done by a certified teacher or person with a mastersdegree.

there is something about 'or other' . . . leaving open the possibility of sending a portfolio to the school districts. apparently some districts will accept that, but the big ones dont want to have to evaluate porfolios.

there are other options tho - you can take a religious exemption to schooling, in which case they leave you alone and never talk to you again.

also, there is the 'approved teacher' option - which some parents use if they are certified teachers - you still have to notify annually, but no proof of progress is required.

the most interesting tidbit i learned this year - the religious exemption was first put in to the law during the time of school integration. It was a moral objection at that time, and used by white parents who didnt want their kids going to school with blacks. a few decades later it was changed to be a religious exemption, for people whose religion preaches against the evils of public education. hmmm

06-16-2013, 11:06 PM
In Alberta, you have to register with a school board and you get assigned a teacher/facilitator. At a minimum, you are supposed to meet twice a year. At the first meeting, you're supposed to go over your "plan" for the year, and in the spring, you meet again to "show progress." Different school boards and facilitators vary in their approach and their expectations for reporting. I know people who keep detailed portfolios and work samples, some people keep blogs or make scrapbooks. Some people pour an enormous amount of stress, anxiety, and effort into these meetings.

Personally, I keep it as minimal as possible. It's just administrative paperwork. Nobody ever reads those reports, unless the school board is getting audited, and then it's their problem, not mine. A short report from me (less than one page), a few work samples from the kids, and a list of books read and field trips/extra-curriculars they participated in. All I'm legally required to do is demonstrate "progress", and address a list of about a dozen vague learning outcomes (e.g. student will respect the cultural diversity and common values of Canada; understand and appreciate literature, the arts and the creative process, etc....)

Parents who choose to register as "teacher-directed" or "fully-aligned" with the Alberta Program of Studies have a LOT more hoops to jump through. Most of them are doing it because they either need the extra funding that's offered, or they want their kids to keep up with or learn the same things as their school peers.

06-17-2013, 02:10 AM
I voted nothing. The district only knows about my oldest because he was dual enrolled for therapy for several years requiring a me to submit a letter of intent when I formally withdrew him after his single year of charter school. I don't think they are even aware of the existence of my youngest, he has never been enrolled.

06-17-2013, 10:32 AM
I don't know about Nebraska yet, but since we started in 2006, we've had no assessment requirements.

In Delaware, we just had to submit two forms annually: one that says we're homeschooling and one that says we did 180 days (or whatever) that year. Overseas in Korea and England, we didn't have to do a thing.

06-17-2013, 02:36 PM
Nothing! I don't think they care.

06-17-2013, 04:32 PM
we can have a professional evaluation done or take a standardized test. we'll take the test next year; it seems easier and she'll need the practice for SATs and AP credit. question for those of you who never test: do you worry that when your kids need to take a standardized test (like the SAT if their choice of college required it, or the AP if they want to pursue that) they will be at a disadvantage from not having regularly taken one? the question is not meant o provoke, but that's part of the reason I've chosen to test and I am really wondering if it's something I needn't worry about.

06-17-2013, 04:48 PM
when i was a kid, we took those tests every other year . . i always got 99th percentile. they totally overdo it. have you seen that cartoon? i cant find it - is this the test to see if we are ready to take the test . .. .

06-17-2013, 07:33 PM
This year in PS my 4th grader had to take a test to test out next year's test.

06-18-2013, 07:25 PM
I have reviews with the county twice a year. I bring my "portfolio" which is usually a heavy bag with a bunch of books and papers. The standardized test is optional, and I'm not sure if it's every year or certain years. We're going to opt out of the test, because I don't think she's ready for something like that. Also for us she'd have to go to the school and take it there and I just don't want to deal with the school to set that up.

06-19-2013, 10:21 AM
Twice a year portfolio/review or homeschool under one of three umbrella groups in Maryland.

06-20-2013, 07:20 PM
We are registered with the LEA. With that in Tn you do the standardized test in grades 5 7 & 9. Otherwise all I do is send in an intent form at the start of the year and a log of attendance that shows we did school for 4 hours/day over 180 days at the end of the year.

09-15-2013, 11:39 AM
We don't have to do any kind of assessment. KY only requires notification of intent to homeschool, but there is no follow-up. It's the trade-off of living in a very evangelical state. Yeah, we have the Creation Museum, but we also have a large concentration of very vocal homeschool advocates who are not afraid to put up a fight.

Of course, Kentucky was also the first state to adopt Common Core, so I can't really brag about TOO much...

09-15-2013, 12:49 PM
No requirements, but I administer anyway. I'm glad I do. When ds11 applied to the school for the gifted, I had DORA, DOMA, ITBS, and ACT test scores. It really helped with placement for my very differentiated kid (I chose what "grade" to start him in as they had no age/grade requirement).

ds8 will start taking the ITBS this year (end of "third").

09-16-2013, 12:15 PM
We use a charter school so we have a monthly meeting, portfolio twice a year, and are supposed to take the state mandated testing. Considering they give us $1200 a year to follow these requirements I don't think it's too bad.

09-16-2013, 04:25 PM
No requirements since we are in Texas. As my kids get to middle school, I will start keeping more formal records in case they want to get into specialty high school.