On Friday, they received their answer.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has decided to pull the homeschool testing reporting requirement provision from the governor’s education policy bill altogether, and will not be re-offering it this legislative session, according to a department official who spoke with Alpha News on Friday.
Minnesota Statute already requires homeschool students to take any one of more than 24 nationally normed standardized tests. Public school students who take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment test — which measures proficiency in reading and math — can opt out of the exams with parent permission. But that isn’t the case with homeschool students unless their educator parents go through a costly accreditation process, Corniea said.
We do not need to target our homeschool students,” said Bennett, a former public school teacher. “They are doing great.”
“Homeschool students are required to test unless they and their families jump through some serious hoops. So we already make that sacrifice,” she said. “After our children take their tests, if we now have to submit our test scores to the local school district, what is going to happen with that data? There is some underlying fear by many of us in the homeschool community about what [MDE] wants to do with those scores.”
Nearly 18,000 students are homeschooled across Minnesota. But that makes up less than 2 percent of the state’s nearly 900,000 school-aged children, the vast majority of which attend public schools.
There was little discussion among lawmakers of the proposed homeschool test reporting requirement during the House committee hearing on the education policy bill on Tuesday.
But Rep. Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, said the department should keep its focus on finding ways to improve standardized test scores among its public school students, which have been in decline, according to recent reports.
“We do not need to target our homeschool students,” said Bennett, a former public school teacher. “They are doing great. Let’s target where we need to make the most efforts to give our public school students the best education we can.”
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