2017 Session – SB TBA, Remove homeschool testing

Title: OCEANetwork filed a bill to remove homeschool testing

Alert: The Oregon Christian Home Education Association Network (OCEANetwork) has asked the Oregon Senate Committee on Education to file a bill which would result in greater freedom for Oregon homeschoolers to do what is best for our children.

Background Information

The bill eliminates the scheduled testing for homeschoolers in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, while giving the ESDs a tool to follow up on parents whom they suspect of being truant.

Purpose of the bill: Eliminate scheduled across-the-board testing of homeschoolers.

Authorize ESD superintendents to require a test within 60 days upon reasonable suspicion that a “homeschooled” child is not being educated. These are usually children with spotty attendance records whose parents suddenly decide to “homeschool” them rather than face truancy charges. “Reasonable suspicion” is a well-established legal standard. This bill has the requirement that anonymous reports or tips cannot be used as a basis for meeting the reasonable suspicion standard. There will be no open season on homeschoolers.

Reasons for homeschoolers to support the bill

  • Homeschoolers use teaching methods customized to the student, rather than Common Core methods. As national tests become Common-Core specific, homeschooled students become artificially disadvantaged when taking the tests. OCEANetwork still believes that testing is a good tool when used by parents to gauge their children’s progress. However, OCEANetwork believes testing should be done voluntarily when the parents desire it, not when the state requires it.
  • The current testing law does not help homeschooled students according to ODE data from ESDs (http://thehomeschooleffect.com/regulation.html). It is thus a waste of homeschooler (and ESD) effort.
  • Scheduled testing forces parents of struggling students to teach to the test rather than focusing on what is best for the student long-term, thus harming the student.

Reasons for public schools to support the bill

  • Currently, when public-school truant parents claim to be homeschooling they cannot be held accountable for 2-3 years because of the fixed testing schedule. This bill holds them accountable within 60 days.
  • Likewise, when abusive parents are reported by teachers/staff they can withdraw their children to “homeschool” them. This bill allows ESD superintendents to follow up to see if the children are in fact being educated. (Abusive parents are not naturally oriented towards the education of their children.) For this reason, we have titled our bill: “A bill to put truants hiding as homeschoolers back into the classroom.”

We hope this allays any fears about this strange sounding bill proposed by OCEANetwork. If it passes, homeschoolers will have the testing burden removed. That will be a blessing.

Rodger Williams
OCEANetwork Freedom Watch Team

You can help OCEANetwork protect the freedom for Oregon families to do what is best for their children. Become an OCEANetwork Supporting Family.