live_momma (live_momma) wrote,
  • Mood: annoyed

HSLDA's Weekly Update - incorrect info for Iowa!

This morning, I received HSLDA's Weekly Update in my e-mail box. I'm not a member of HSLDA, but I like to keep an eye on what they are doing. When I saw Urbandale mentioned, I read with interest:
4. Iowa: To Test or Not to Test--That Is the Question

In the Urbandale public school system, officials agreed to send a
letter stating that previous information they had issued concerning
standardized testing was incorrect.

Read more about it at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3387

I followed the link and read further:
To Test or Not to Test—That Is the Question

On October 13, a representative of the Urbandale school system sent a letter to all homeschool families concerning the availability of testing. She made an unauthorized demand, however, when she wrote: "As you know all children over the age of 7 must take either the Iowa Test of Basic Skills at their neighborhood school or a standardized test at the Heartland AEA annually." This is not correct.

Families can choose from a number of standardized tests—or they can forego a standardized test altogether and submit a year-end portfolio review by a licensed Iowa teacher. [Emphasis mine.] If they choose the standardized test option, their student is not required to go to a school building to take it.

The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators quickly responded to this situation and HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff followed up. He called the official who had written the letter. She acknowledged her error and confirmed that she would send a letter of correction.

It's great that The NICHE was able to resolve this issue. It's unfortunate that HSLDA's coverage of the issue includes incomplete information about parents' options! Parents in Iowa have four options for homeschooling. The first is to partner with the school district through the Home School (sic) Assistance Program. Second, parents may choose to submit test scores. Third, parents may submit a portfolio for review. Or, finally, parents may choose to work with a supervising teacher who does not report to the school at all.

The irony is, Urbandale school district makes a mistake, and the letter goes to hundreds of families. HSLDA errs, and the letter goes to thousands!
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