Email of the Day:
This is my first year homeschooling in WA, and would like some more information on the annual assessment. I spoke with the local school district, who informed me that third graders are required to take Math and English Language Arts tests. They mentioned having my son go to the local public elementary school to take the tests. Could you please send me the list of individuals who administer tests in this area? Thank you.
The school was right (that you could come and test with them for free).
They were, however, a little confused about the requirement for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers have to test or assess every year from 8-18 (based on age, not grade), and they have to either choose a standardized achievement test or an assessment by a certificated teacher. The Math and Language Arts tests are a public school requirement, and are not generally comprehensive enough to fulfill this part of our law.
If you wanted to test with the school, you would need to give them enough advance notice to order extra tests, but first you would need to find out if they are:
1) Testing at the grade level you need,
2) If the test is a standardized achievement test, and
3) If you will get scores returned to you for your files.
Then you can test with the school for free, utilizing the “ancillary services” law. Just show up to all the testing days (usually in the spring), and voila!
Most homeschoolers do not take this route. Most of us have a test sent to our home, or hire a certificated teacher (generally a homeschooling parent with a teaching certificate, or the teacher-spouse of a local homeschool parent). We keep a list of both here: http://washhomeschool.org/test-providers-washington/
If you want an assessor, your local homeschool group is the best place to ask for local recommendation. (I live east of Spokane).
~Jen Garrison Stuber, WHO Board Advocacy Chair