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October 28, 2005
ESD Rejects Homeschoolers Test in 93rd Percentile

A Home School Legal Defense Association member in the Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District (ESD) recently contacted us after they received a letter from the ESD. The Davis family had submitted standardized test results in 5th grade for their 9 year-old child. However, the Linn Benton Lincoln ESD stated that homeschool students could not test early and they would count the 5th grade California Achievement Test, with a composite score in the 93rd percentile, as the child’s 3rd grade test.

Under Oregon law, testing is to occur in the 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th grades in the 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th year. The first year is defined when the child is 7 on September 1st, or earlier, at the parent’s discretion. Under the law a 9 year-old child will be assumed to be in the “3rd year” of homeschooling unless a parent determines they are in a higher grade level.

To complicate matters, the Linn Benton Lincoln ESD requested the test results from the Davis family three years in advance! Oregon Revised Statutes § 339.035 requires a parent to submit the results of the test to the ESD upon request. However, the request is to occur when there is an obligation to test, not years beforehand.

HSLDA attorney Thomas Schmidt contacted Linn Benton Lincoln ESD and informed them that under Oregon law a parent could advance their child and test them early. Schmidt pointed out that it was ludicrous, not to mention beyond their authority, for the ESD to insist that the child take another 5th grade test when the child had already scored in the 93rd percentile.

Whether a parent determines the grade level or the allows the statutory “first year when 7 on September 1st” to take effect, a child should always be tested in the 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th grades. If the ESD requests the scores in a year that they are to be tested then you are required to submit the results. If an ESD requests the results in a year they are not required to be tested, simply notify the public school officials and be prepared to submit results for the next testing year. If you have any difficulties with your ESD in this regard please don’t hesitate to contact us.