New Testing Options for Homeschoolers: Part 1 (of 3)

A homeschooler goes over to a table at a high school fair and shows an admissions person representing a New York City public high school a set of test scores on the letterhead of a standardized test provider. What’s the reaction?

Your homeschooled child applies to a school that requires test scores (for example, a “screened” NYC public high school), or tries for some other competitive spot. If you give this school or program some of your official homeschool paperwork that shows “adequate academic progress” as defined by the New York State Regulations on Home Instruction and based on test results, will the paperwork be taken seriously?

Some families have had good experiences with this. But sometimes there are problems (to be laid out in this blog post, as well as in Part 2), for which PAHSI (Partnership for Accurate Homeschooling Information) has recently come up with a couple of solutions (see Part 3, when it’s posted).

One parent described a less than propitious encounter at a high school fair in an email (on 11/15/2012) to the director of the New York City Central Office of Homeschooling. (Note: PAHSI always writes “Homeschooling”, even though the office itself uses “Home Schooling.”)

Here are excerpts from that email:

[…] At the Boroughwide High School Fair, when I showed [my son’s] test scores to a school representative at one of the tables, she said, “Great, but of course the Homeschool Office has to send them to us.”

I told her that the Homeschool Office doesn’t send any records to the high schools.

She insisted that it does, “Because otherwise parents could just send us whatever they wanted to.” She advised me to call the Homeschool Office.

I tried asking whether she herself had gotten any records from the Homeschool Office in the past, and her answer was unclear – something like, “This is standard, it’s done all the time.”

I asked her whether she calls the Homeschool Office to confirm what the parent has submitted to her, or whether she actually receives a package in the mail, and she said something like, “It can be done in different ways, depending.”

I suspect that she has never dealt with a homeschooled applicant before, and was just bluffing.

[…] If [my son] applies to any of the programs at that school that require records, what do you suggest I do? […]

Part 2 will be about the director’s reply, and Part 3 will show how PAHSI went on to develop some new options for parents. Please send any comments or questions to comments@pahsi.net

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