Hearing - June 20, 2002
State Board of Education's Homeschool Testing WAC
The State Board of Education (SBE) has scheduled a public hearing for the purpose of adopting WAC 180-52-070, Approved Standardized Tests for Use by Students Receiving Home-based Instruction - Examples - Assistance (language included below).  The notice is posted at the Washington State Office of the Code Reviser web site, http://slc.leg.wa.gov/wsr/2002/10/02-10-089.htm.
Hearing Location: Senate Hearing Room 4, John A. Cherberg Building, 304 15th Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-0482, on June 20, 2002, at 8:30 a.m.
Please, attend the adoption hearing.
The Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO) opposes this WAC.  The homeschool law 28A.200.010 Home-based Instruction -- Duties of Parents states, "(3) Ensure that a standardized achievement test approved by the state board of education is administered annually to the child by a qualified individual or..." (underlining mine).  The language in the testing WAC that the SBE is moving to adopt stipulates "normed standardized achievement tests."  By adding the word "normed" the SBE is proposing language that creates a different standard for testing than the law specifies.  Because WACs act as laws, the SBE is, in effect, writing law without legislative process.
"Normed" creates a criteria for testing that is more stringent, less flexible and more expensive for the homeschooling parent than the law requires.  If and when the SBE approves standardized tests for use by homeschoolers, it would allow parents to inexpensively administer and evaluate test results in their homes.  Currently all SBE approved tests are normed standardized achievement tests.
As I have stated, WHO opposes this WAC, and this will not prevent its adoption.  The homeschool community must be heard from on this issue.  Below is the contact information for the SBE if you wish to communicate with them on this or any issue. 
It may be even more effective to communicate with your state representatives on this issue, and ask for their support.  Washington State Senators and Representatives are sensitive to the issues involved when agencies rewrite law without legislative process.  Your representatives may be willing to act on your behalf concerning this issue.
Submit Written Comments to: Rules Coordinator, State Board of Education, P.O. Box 47206, Olympia, WA 98504-7206, Patty Martin, Associate Director, fax (360) 586-2357, by June 13, 2002.
(Note: This WAC does not effect the annual non-test assessment option in the homeschool law.)
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For Homeschoolers,
The WHO Advocacy Committee
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WAC 180-52-070    Approved standardized tests for use by students receiving home-based instruction -- Examples -- Assistance.    (1)(a) Pursuant to RCW 28A.200.010(3), the state board of education will provide a list of examples of normed standardized achievement tests that a parent may use to assess and determine whether their child is making reasonable academic progress.
     (b) Tests on the list are approved by the state board of education on the basis that they are normed standardized achievement tests.
     (c) Parents may contact the state board of education office for assistance in determining if a test of their choosing that is not on the list of examples is normed and standardized.
     (d) Parents may use a test that does not appear on the list of examples if it has been determined to be normed and standardized based on an evaluation by an organization recognized by the state board of education.
     (2) The list of examples of normed standardized achievement tests shall be:
     (a) Made available on the web page of the state board;
     (b) Included in the following publication of the office of the superintendent of public instruction, "Washington's State Laws Regulating Home-Based Instruction;" and
     (c) Provided on request.

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