FAQs: Testing and Evaluation
Virginia state law provides a number of options for demonstrating adequate educational progress. A score in the fourth stanine (24th percentile) or higher on any nationally normed standardized achievement test is acceptable. If your child can pass a test of this kind, that may be the easiest way to show progress. One benefit of many of these tests is that you can often test your child in the comfort of your own home.
If your child had an IEP in school, has an ISP now, or you have other documentation supporting disabilities, share that information with the test provider when you order the test and they can usually authorize testing accommodations.
Another method to demonstrate “adequate evidence of progress” commonly used by families with homeschooling children with disabilities is an evaluation. An evaluation can be conducted by a certified teacher or anyone with a master’s degree or higher. This is often a better choice for families who may not have documentation of disabilities or who do not feel that testing will adequately measure their child’s educational progress. Read about how to choose an evaluator, then ask other homeschoolers in your area for recommendations.
Can my child receive special testing accommodations?
That depends. For testing accommodations a child needs documented disabilities. This documentation can come from one of these three options:
- an independent evaluator who has performed educational testing
- an Individual Service Plan (ISP) established for your homeschool child by the public school
- an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from when the child was in public school
If you don’t have documentation for accommodations then you will need to obtain the documentation first, then speak to the test supplier and get their authorization to use the accommodations when administering the test.
The March-May 2017 issue of VaHomeschoolers Voice magazine contains the article entitled “Attaining Testing Accommodations for Your Child with Special Needs” to answer many of your questions about the process of attaining accommodations both for evidence-of-progress standardized tests and for college readiness tests, such as the PSAT, SAT, or ACT.
This information is provided as a courtesy of The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. It is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney.
VaHomeschoolers is a non-profit public charity with 501(c)(3) status; your donation is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.