I am told that Sioux Falls school district is once again inventing a deadline for submitting year–end tests.

Year–end test results for children finishing grades 4, 8, and 11 must be filed no later than the first day of public school in your area. But too often schools invent their own deadlines and try to convince families they are mandatory. 

The article below was originally published in 2016, but sheds light on groundless deadlines school systems are seeking to impose today.

Sioux Falls Pulls In Its Horns on Spurious Test Deadline

Originally published in 2016

The Sioux Falls school district sent a letter to homeschool families telling them that if their child was in grades 2, 4, 8, or 11, they must submit standardized test scores by August 1 or the district would send a list of non-compliant students to the South Dakota Department of Education and ask the state to investigate the family’s homeschool program. As authority for this threat, the district representative cited the “State Alternative Instruction Guidelines”.

I wrote the representative and explained that there is no particular date testing results are due (other than when each year’s excuse paperwork needs to be filed), and asking her where I could access the “State Alternative Instruction Guidelines” to which she referred. I asked her to change the district’s form letter to align with state law.

The representative responded and said they were reviewing the situation and would take my comments into account when revising their letter.

When the form letter was next sent out, the August 1 test submission deadline was gone. So was the threat to report “non-compliant” students to the state. We appreciate the district making these changes.

The representative never told me where she could find the  “State Alternative Instruction Guidelines,” however.  This is not surprising, since none exist.