Definition, Description and Details of Options for Academic Assessment for Home Education
For each subsequent year of home education AFTER the first year, homeschoolers are required under the home education regulations to provide an ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT to the superintendent of the work of the child/ren for the previous school year. If it is your first time notifying of your intention to home educate in Ohio, no such academic assessment is required.
OAC 3301-34-04 (A) “The parent(s) shall send to the superintendent an academic assessment report of the child of the previous school year at the time of supplying subsequent notification.”
What is an Academic Assessment report?
An academic assessment report is a document sent to the superintendent ONLY of your school district together with your notification of intention to home educate. This “report” is sent for all such notifications you may make after your first year. It is not required the first time that you notify in Ohio; no prior educational history is required. A report will be sent to the superintendent for each child that you are intending to home educate. The report or academic assessment advises the district regarding your child/ren’s academic progress for the previous year. The purpose of this report is to show whether the child/ren is/are in need of remediation.
Parent(s) are provided with THREE specific assessment options – described below – and the choice of such academic assessment option is left to their discretion.
If you are not satisfied with the results of your choice of academic assessment, if it does not demonstrate the progress standard set by the regulations, you may wish to choose another academic assessment option. You will, therefore, wish to give your family sufficient time to decide upon an option, implement it and receive the results – and, if necessary, choose another option.
It is not required that you advise your school district, superintendent, or any other school district official at any time regarding which assessment option you will be using, UNLESS you:
(1) choose the option of achievement testing and wish to do so within your public school system;
(2) choose testing by other than a duly-authorized testing administrator; or
(3) choose portfolio assessment by other than a certified teacher;
(4) choose Option 3 under Academic Assessment.
If you choose achievement testing within your school system, you should notify the district in early January of your decision so that they can make arrangements to include your child/ren in their testing schedule. AND, so that they will advise you of public testing date/s, time/s, location/s.
Note: Ohio homeschoolers are NOT required to take the Ohio Proficiency Tests. Period.
Academic Assessment Options,
(B): “The academic assessment report shall include one of the following: …”
“(1) Results of a nationally normed, standardized achievement test which meets the requirements set forth in rule 3301-12-02 of the Administrative Code.
(a) Such test shall be administered by:
- A certified teacher; or
- Another person mutually agreed-upon by the parent(s) and the superintendent;
(iii) A person duly authorized by the publisher of the test. … ”
The assessment standard is: reasonable proficiency – composite score of at least the 25th percentile. This is not the individual scores on each section, but rather the composite score on the entire test. The child must achieve at least the 25th percentile overall.
If you choose this standardized achievement testing option, be sure to do with sufficient time to test, return the test, and receive the results. Allowing sufficient time will provide you with an opportunity to file your notification in a less-stressful manner and allow you an opportunity to choose another academic option should you not be satisfied with the results of such testing, or to retest using another testing instrument. (Achievement tests are not the same and what they measure may vary widely.)
Note: A parent can be authorized by the publisher of the test to provide this testing (iii-above). A parent can also be authorized by the superintendent to provide this testing (ii-above).
A suggested form you may use for providing this composite score is included on this website here.
“(2) A written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed and that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities. …”
A written narrative is often referred to as a “portfolio review.”
Assessment standard: progress in accordance with the child’s abilities.
A written narrative, or portfolio review, is usually performed by a certified Ohio teacher. Check with a homeschool organization for names of such certified teachers available to perform these narratives. (See below for further information.)
A written narrative may also be performed by another person mutually-agreed upon by both the parent(s) and the superintendent. This might be the support teacher if you have purchased a commercial curriculum or program which offers this service. It might also be the parent. There has been some discussion that the parent is most obviously the person most capable of evaluating the progress of a child who has been under his tutelage for the year. You will need to be very clear in discussions with your school district about what you will provide if you desire to be the assessor – unless you are a certified teacher in Ohio. (A parent who is also a certified Ohio teacher may assess his/her own children.) A district may require you to provide more information and materials than would be otherwise necessary under this option. It would be important to suggest to your district that you would supply only the information supplied by a certified teacher – that is, the statement that a portfolio had been reviewed and the child had made progress in accordance with her/his abilities.
It is suggested that you contact a certified teacher to perform your written narrative/s early in the Spring. They are in demand and their schedules fill up quickly. It is also suggested that you obtain TWO original, signed copies of the narrative for each child you have assessed. Experience has shown the most-often misplaced document of notification in the supt’s office is the written narrative. It is often a challenge to track down your assessor and have him/her provide you with another copy of this narrative document.
Please note: It is NOT required that the teacher’s certification number be included on the narrative form; therefore, it is suggested that you do not provide it. If the school district needs this information, they have access to the state database from which they can retrieve it.
You may have this assessment done at any time you choose and save the signed, dated form until you are ready to file your notification of intention to home educate. Remember – the academic assessment must be filed with the notification.
A suggested form you may use for providing this written narrative can be accessed here.
“(3) An alternative academic assessment of the child’s proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent. ”
This could be anything that the parent(s) and the superintendent might agree upon together. It could also include the Ohio Proficiency Tests, which are not nationally-normed achievement tests, but rather criterion-referenced. (Please read Footnote 4 – should you decide to undertake the OPT.)
This could also be a review by the parent of the work of the child for the school year. Cautionary note: before undertaking this option, be sure to be clear about what the district will require of you in this regard. You may find that they wish to obtain more information than is reasonable or wise to provide.
The assessment standard: whatever the parent(s) and superintendent agree upon.
(1) If your school district contains the word “local,” (e.g,, Kings Local School District) you are required by the regulations to file with the superintendent of education of your COUNTY of residence. Local superintendents do not have authority to issue an excuse from compulsory attendance.
(2) Your intention to home education notification AND the Academic Assessment report for each child must be sent to the superintendent ONLY of your school district as required by the home education regulations – OAC 3301-34-04(A). A designee or person other than the superintendent does not have authority under these regulations to receive such notifications or to issue an excuse from compulsory attendance. The regulations have the same effect as law and must be followed by both home educators and school districts
(3) Remediation: Please refer to section OAC 3301-34-05 of the home education regulations for details. Remediation is a plan submitted by the parent(s) to the superintendent within 30 days of receipt of notification from superintendent that a review of the academic assessment report indicate that the child has not demonstrated the progress standards set forth in the home education regulations.
(4) If you choose to use testing in your public school…please go the section on CHALLENGES on this website and read the discussion under Part-time Participation – Pitfalls.
(5) Be sure you provide a nationally-normed, standardized achievement test. The Ohio Proficiency test does not qualify under this option. (It is a criterion-referenced exam.) Examples of applicable tests are: Iowa Basic Skills Test, Stanford Achievement Test, Metropolitan Achievement test (MAT6), the California Achievement Test.
Prepared and Submitted by S.M. Duncan, Rev. 06/01 - Please do not reprint for distribution or publication without