The PA Home Education Testing Requirements
From the PA Home Education Law regarding testing:
“(1) A portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used, samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student and in grades three, five, and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels. The department shall establish a list, with a minimum of five tests, of nationally normed standardized tests from which the supervisor of the home education program shall select a test to be administered if the supervisor does not choose the Statewide tests. At the discretion of the supervisor, the portfolio may included the results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests for other subject areas or grade levels. The supervisor shall ensure that the nationally normed standardized tests or the Statewide tests shall not be administered by the child’s parent or guardian.”
The following will help clarify the PA home education testing requirements.
The PA Home Education law requires that “in grades three, five, and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels” be included in the child’s portfolio.
If you are you planning on having your child tested this year in compliance with the Pennsylvania Home Education Law, here is some useful information:
- The only restriction on who may give the test to the student in grades 3, 5, and 8 is that it cannot be the parent. Any other family member may administer the test to the child – many families use an older sibling.
- The parent determines the grade of the child.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Education has provided a list of 10 tests to choose from. They vary in scope and time length. See list below.
- Home educated children do NOT have to take the PSSA tests.
- Only scores in reading/language art and math testing is required to be turned into the school districts. Any other subject areas are optional.
- There are no “acceptable” test scores. The law only requires that they be taken. The school districts may not refuse your right to home school based upon the test results.
- Anyone may order an achievement test from the test companies listed below. Not all suppliers have the same requirements for test administers. For example BJUP has more restrictions than other suppliers for the same test.
- Testing does not have to be done at a ‘testing site’.
- Testing does not have to be done in a group setting.
- Testing does not have to done in your support group or local public school.
- Studies have, in fact, shown that students do better being tested in familiar surroundings, and for homeschoolers, that would be home.
- The testing provided by homeschool service providers is not superior to the tests that a parent may order on their own, nor is participation in large group testing required by the Home Education Law in Pennsylvania.
- Testing can be less expensive when tests are ordered through the mail from a test supplier when compared with the costs of testing provided by a homeschooling achievement testing business.
List of PDE approved tests:
- California Achievement Test
- Comprehensive Testing Program (CTPIV)
- Iowa Test of Basic Skills
- Metropolitan Achievement Test
- Peabody Achievement Individual Test – Revised Version
- Stanford Achievement Test
- Terra Nova
- Woodcock Johnson Revised Tests of Achievement III
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test III (WIAT-III)
SAT – PSAT Information:
The PSAT code for Pennsylvania home educators is 993999
The PSAT is given via your school district guidance office in October once a year. Call your district’s high school guidance office early September.
The SAT code for home educators is 970000.
The SAT info may be found at College Board.
For additional information on high stakes testing:
FairTest, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing