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What About Standardized Testing in Oregon for 2020?

(Updated 5/22/20)  At the May 21st State Board meeting, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) proposed a delay of the homeschool testing requirements to November of 2020. The change to the OAR will likely be approved in their upcoming June 18th meeting. We suggest homeschool parents go ahead and arrange for tests if local restrictions allow for it and when your tester is prepared to administer it.

(Updated 5/13/20) On May 13th, OCEANetwork received the following update from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). OCEANetwork has been in communication with the ODE throughout this situation and we will keep you posted on any future updates! Be sure to sign up via email for alerts and newsletters. If you have questions about current homeschool law in Oregon, including testing requirements, read more here.

“Although I do not have any new updates for you, I wanted to check in and clarify some questions that I am getting, assuming that you are too:

  • Families may choose to home school their children at any time during the school year, even with just a few weeks to go.
  • Home schooling students who participate in interscholastic activities and need to maintain eligibility for the OSAA may submit evidence of satisfactory progress to the OSAA in lieu of annual testing.
  • Virtual test proctoring is an option for home school testing (a home school tester would need to develop protocol that safeguards test materials and ensures the tester have sight of the student before, during, and after the test).

Next Thursday [5/21/20] I present the issue of Home School Testing to the State Board and request an extension on the deadline. As soon as I have an answer I will let you all know. I am also sending this information out to our home school testers and ESD liaisons.”

(Updated 4/21/20): ODE Update on Deadlines & Online Testing – During their April meeting, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) was considering having the State Board of Education extend the deadline for homeschool testing to October. They have since decided to wait until late May to evaluate conditions at that time. If warranted, they will present the rule change as an extension of the testing deadline to November 2020.

The ODE has also let us know that they are aware some testers are looking into online testing solutions. They plan to review the rules to determine whether tests proctored from a distance are prohibited or not.

(3/27/20): Oregon homeschool parents have been asking whether the standardized testing required for homeschoolers will be delayed or waived this year.

President Trump’s declaration to waive standardized testing for schools relates to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and does not waive or otherwise impact the homeschool law and the requirement for homeschoolers to take standardized tests for 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th grades.

Right now, homeschoolers are still legally required to complete standardized testing by August 15th, 2020 for those grade levels and have test results in hand if their ESD requests them. In spite of the present crisis and the inconveniences it imposes on families, homeschool law remains independent of public school law. While it’s understandable that some homeschool parents would prefer testing waived or delayed for 2020, keeping that separation between homeschool and public school law is essential for ongoing efforts to protect homeschool freedoms.

For those of you experiencing cancelled test dates, you can ask your testers for rescheduled testing dates, look for other testers (here’s a list of them in spreadsheet form from the ODE), or contact the Oregon Department of Education to ask for a referral.

OCEANetwork is reaching out to the Oregon Department of Education as well to see how they plan to handle potential unavailability of testers due to ongoing cancellation concerns. We will share that information here once we receive it.