When does my child need to be tested?
A home school student must be tested at the completion of grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 by August 15th.
New home school students are not required to submit the first test result for the first 18 months after being withdrawn from public or private school. If your child completes the 3rd, 5th, 8th or 10th grade during this 18-month window of time, testing does not need to occur until the next required grade level. If the child never attended public or private school, the first test must be taken at the end of 3rd grade.
Home school students establishing eligibility for interscholastic activities (athletics, music, speech, etc) must test annually at the end of each school year (prior to Aug. 15th) because test scores are used to determine eligibility for the following year. Parents need to submit these test results directly to their resident school district.
Can we opt out of testing?
There is no opt out from home school testing. The Student Assessment Bill of Rights (ORS 329.479) permits parents of public school students to opt-out of Oregon’s Smarter Balanced assessment, and does not apply to home school students.
What about students with learning disabilities?
The same assessment schedule applies to disabled and non-disabled children. Oregon State law provides that children with disabilities be evaluated for “satisfactory educational progress” according to the recommendations of an individualized education plan (IEP) or privately developed plan (PDP). See the Assessment of Home School Students with Disabilities or call our office for more information.
If my child is working on GED or a diploma, do they still need to take a test?
A home school student who pursues a GED or High School Diploma is not released from regular home school testing requirements until LBL ESD receives written verification that the student has been awarded the certificate.
How do I have my child tested?
Parents need to contact a private tester to arrange a test for their child. Tests must be given by a qualified and neutral person as defined in OAR 581-021-0026(1)(e)(i). A test may be given by anyone who is qualified and neutral, but LBL ESD and Oregon Department of Education provide lists of local testers as a service to you. If you use a tester who is not registered, please include a copy of the examiner’s qualifications with the test results.
Many testers get very busy by August. It may be helpful to contact a tester in the spring to schedule your child’s testing appointment.
How much does testing cost?
Testers are independent contractors, not employed by LBL ESD or the Department of Education. For information on testing costs please contact testers directly.
What tests do home school students take?
For the 2018-2019 year, tests approved for assessment of home school students include TerraNova 2nd Edition/CAT 6, TerraNova 3rd Edition, Stanford Achievement Test 10th Edition, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) and the Iowa Assessments. Public school tests such as the OAKS test or Smarter Balanced test are not acceptable for home school testing.
Testing must include the basic battery, which includes reading, language and math, is provided in both complete and survey editions of the tests. Some testers may offer the complete battery, which may include social studies, science, and other subjects but these are optional tests, and are not required as part of the student’s ‘composite score’. The composite national percentile score of the basic battery is the score to be reported to LBL ESD.
How can we prepare for the test?
For information on what material is covered by a specific test, parents may want to do an internet search with the test name + “scope and sequence”, ask their tester, or visit the test publisher’s website.
LBL ESD’s home school testing resource list includes links to some test preparation materials.
The Oregon Department of Education provides sample tests to demonstrate the types of questions students might encounter on the Oregon Statewide Assessment. This is not the same test a home school student would take, but may have similar structure and could be a way to introduce a student to standardized testing.
What do the test results mean?
For help interpreting your child’s test results, please contact your tester. Also see the Parent Guide to Standardized Achievement Testing.
What happens if my child gets a low score?
Oregon law requires that a home school student achieve at least the 15th percentile on the test. If a home school student does not meet the 15th percentile, the student will be required to test again in a year. If the result of the second test shows a declining score further steps may be necessary. Student’s wishing to participate in interscholastic activities with the resident public school must achieve at least the 23rd percentile on achievement testing.
Parents whose children score very low on standardized testing may consider having their child tested for learning disabilities. Special testing rules exist for students with disabilities. See the Assessment of Home School Students with Disabilities or call our office for more information.
What information needs to be reported to LBL ESD?
Parents have the responsibility of submitting test results to LBL ESD. Standardized achievement test results reported to the LBL ESD must include the following essential information:
- The student’s name and birth date
- The tester’s name, contact information and qualification statement
- The test name, grade, and level; date test was administered; and the composite national percentile score of the basic battery
If any of this information is incomplete or unclear to the LBL ESD Home School staff, the parents or tester will be contacted and requested to provide further information. Test results will not be accepted until all required information is clearly provided.