State tests / different grades
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  1. #1
    kenbrody is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Question State tests / different grades

    We have chosen to use the NY State tests as our end-of-year evaluations.

    After spending a bit of time last year convincing the school district that our 8-year-old was, in fact, allowed to take the 4th grade state tests (they insisted that he was in 2nd grade, since he was 8), we had no problems this year with the district allowing him to take the 5th grade ELA and 6th grade math test.

    However...

    When it came time to grading the tests, we were informed that some "new" state regulation forbade a student from taking a test in a grade other than the one in which he was enrolled. (Given that he's homeschooled, he's not really "enrolled" in any grade. His IHIP specifically says both 5th and 6th grades.) The district says that the testing service will only grade one of his tests, based on our decision as to which grade he's "enrolled" in.

    We spoke to the guy in charge of the testing service, and he says that for "confidentiality" reasons, he cannot talk to parents about such things, and only repeated that some new state regulation will only let a student test in a single grade level. (He said he "cannot" send us copies of the regulations.) He says we need to talk to the school district.

    Has anyone heard of such a regulation, and does it apply to homeschools?

    Has anyone else run into this? What did you do?

  2. #2
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    My best guess is that this person is not fully aware of the law and is just trying to pass you on to someone else. I have read and reread the law and I see nothing about testing at only one grade level. "
    The annual assessment shall include the results of a commercially published norm referenced achievement test which meets the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subdivision, or an alternative form of evaluation which meets the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision. (1) Commercially published norm-referenced achievement tests. (i) The test shall be selected by the parent from one of the following: the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, the California Achievement Test, the Stanford Achievement Test, the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, the Metropolitan Achievement Test, a State Education Department test, or another test approved by the State Education Department. (ii) The test shall be administered in accordance with one of the following options, to be selected by the parents: (a) at the public school, by its professional staff; (b) at a registered nonpublic school, by its professional staff, provided that the consent of the chief school officer of the nonpublic school is obtained; (c) at a non-registered nonpublic school, by its professional staff, provided that the consent of the superintendent of schools of the school district and of the chief school officer of the nonpublic school is obtained; or (d) at the parents' home or at any other reasonable location, by a New York State-certified teacher or by another qualified person, provided that the superintendent has consented to having said certified teacher or other person administer the test. (iii) The test shall be scored by the persons administering the test or by other persons who are mutually agreeable to the parents and the superintendent of schools. (iv) The test shall be provided by the school district upon request by the parent, provided that the cost of any testing facilities, transportation, and/or personnel for testing conducted at a location other than the public school shall be borne by the parent. (v) If a score on a test is determined to be inadequate, the program shall be placed on probation pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section. A student's score shall be deemed adequate if: (a) the student has a composite score above the 33rd percentile on national norms; or (b) the student's score reflects one academic year of growth as compared to a test administered during or subsequent to the prior school year."

    If it were me, I would talk to the superintendent of the school district you live in and let them know that you are trying to follow the law but this testing facility is not compliant.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  3. #3
    kenbrody is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairylover View Post
    My best guess is that this person is not fully aware of the law and is just trying to pass you on to someone else. I have read and reread the law and I see nothing about testing at only one grade level. "
    We dealt last year with teaching the law to the school principal and the district assistant superintendent. When our son showed up for the 5th grade math test, he was refused entry. They insisted that, at age 8, he was a 2nd grader, and therefore cannot take any state test. (There is no 2nd grade state math test.) When we pointed out that he had taken the 4th grade ELA the previous week, they said that it was a "mistake" and that he shouldn't have been allowed to take that, either.

    We went back and forth for several days over this, with them "allowing" him to take their district "incoming student evaluation" test. We were under the impression that they were going to see if he was "ready" for 5th grade, but instead they gave him the incoming 2nd grade test. (And, BTW, they deducted points from his score for not following directions which they admitted they didn't give him.)

    Eventually, after showing them the actual law -- 100.10(h)(1)(ii):
    The test shall be administered in accordance with one of the following options, to be selected by the parents
    they were willing to "compromise" and allow him to take the 4th grade math test. (Given that his IHIP said he was in 4th grade, we felt it wasn't worth pursuing further.)

    Now... On to today...

    The district and the testing facility have agreed to score both tests "this time", but to not expect them to do so next year. I thanked them for doing it this year, and informed them that we will be pursuing this, and to expect that he will take different grade tests again next year.

    They are basing their decision on this document:

    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/...samcc13rev.pdf

    the "School Administrator's Manual" for the 2013 grades 3-8 ELA and math tests. Specifically, the statement on page A-1 ("Information on Ungraded Students") which reads
    Students who are graded must take the State test for the grade level in which they are enrolled. The chart below is to be used solely to ascertain the appropriate grade-level test to administer to ungraded students with disabilities.
    Their stance is the word "must", and that "a student can't be enrolled in more than one grade". In fact, they said that they have students enrolled in on grade who take more advanced math (for example, and 8th grader taking 10th grade math), and that those students are required to take the math test for their grade, and not the test for the class they took. The fact that, as a homeschooler, they're not "enrolled" in any grade was irrelevant to them.

  4. #4
    fairylover's Avatar
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    I'm glad it is working out for you for this year. Maybe next year you can just persue it as an ungraded student.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  5. #5
    kenbrody is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairylover View Post
    I'm glad it is working out for you for this year. Maybe next year you can just pursue it as an ungraded student.
    Perhaps if the IHIP were to say "ungraded", rather than "grade X, math grade Y"?

    Projections of Education Statistics to 2019 - Glossary

    Ungraded student (elementary/secondary)A student who has been assigned to a school or program that does not have standard grade designations.


    ​And we simply include a footnote saying "our school does not have standard grade designations"?

  6. #6
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    Schools just don't like it when we don't fit into their one size fits all boxes. It complicates their system. I'm so glad we don't fit into their system. Best wishes on your journey.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  7. #7
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    My guess is that it is linked with testing students off grade level for the annual assessments used for State Report Card rankings. NYS applied to the US Dept of Ed to test students off grade level under the EASA (NCLB) waivers, but more for testing Special Ed students BELOW their current grade level, which was shot down by the US DOE.



    Quote Originally Posted by kenbrody View Post
    We have chosen to use the NY State tests as our end-of-year evaluations.

    After spending a bit of time last year convincing the school district that our 8-year-old was, in fact, allowed to take the 4th grade state tests (they insisted that he was in 2nd grade, since he was 8), we had no problems this year with the district allowing him to take the 5th grade ELA and 6th grade math test.

    However...

    When it came time to grading the tests, we were informed that some "new" state regulation forbade a student from taking a test in a grade other than the one in which he was enrolled. (Given that he's homeschooled, he's not really "enrolled" in any grade. His IHIP specifically says both 5th and 6th grades.) The district says that the testing service will only grade one of his tests, based on our decision as to which grade he's "enrolled" in.

    We spoke to the guy in charge of the testing service, and he says that for "confidentiality" reasons, he cannot talk to parents about such things, and only repeated that some new state regulation will only let a student test in a single grade level. (He said he "cannot" send us copies of the regulations.) He says we need to talk to the school district.

    Has anyone heard of such a regulation, and does it apply to homeschools?

    Has anyone else run into this? What did you do?

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