|Why eliminate homeschool testing?
By: Deborah Keller
Subject: Why exempt Oregon homeschoolers from testing?
Analysis: OCEANetwork has two bills in the Oregon legislature that eliminate testing requirements for homeschoolers (SB 809 and HB 3446).
Why do we care? What is wrong with testing? Absolutely nothing. Testing is a tool for measuring academic progress. It can identify a child's strengths and weaknesses. It can help us to improve teaching strategies and/or modify curriculum choices.
However, Oregon's homeschool law which uses testing as a tool to determine who can and cannot homeschool is unbiblical, ineffective, and unfair.
1. Unbiblical. The decision for when and how to raise our children, including choices about their eduction, belongs to us as parents. God gives us this mandate in His Word.
2. Ineffective. Testing has no correlation with academic achievement. Homeschooled children excel because they are homeschooled, not because they are tested.
Children on the lowest end of the scale are the ones who benefit most from homeschooling. Unfortunately, they are the most at risk under Oregon’s current law. The struggling learners benefit most from homeschooling’s one-on-one attention and parental involvement. Statistics show that homeschooling is the most effective method for students in every academic range. Unfortunately, students who score in the lowest 15% can be sent back to public school if their scores don’t improve within two years.
The majority of homeschooled children perform an average of two years above grade level. These high-achievers, however, are required to take tests based on their grade level by age, not their academic level. This is not an efficient use of parents’ time and money.
Summary of Oregon’s current homeschool testing law:
(See ORS 339.035).
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