Homeschooling in New Mexico

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 Testing Issues in the Homeschool
 Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources

Testing Issues in the Homeschool Back to Top
ACT vs SAT: Key differences between the ACT and SAT
ACT vs SAT: which test is a better fit for your student? Students may take whichever test they prefer (assuming there are available testing locations for both tests). If you’re not sure which test your child would prefer, consider the key differences between the ACT and SAT. Some students find that the ACT caters to their strengths more so than the SAT, and vice versa. Need a quick side-by-side comparison of the tests? Check out this ACT vs SAT Comparison Chart.
Home-Schooled Students and College Board Standardized Testing
A letter from Peter Negroni, Vice President, Teaching and Learning, of the College Board, addressing the procedure for students to take the PSAT/NMSQT, AP, or any other secure College Board tests.
It's Time for the PSAT/NMSQT
David and Laurie Callihan
Although this article has some outdated date information in it, it is a good discussion of the use of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) for homeschoolers, especially those who are interested in qualifying for certain scholarships.
Students Against Testing
This website offers an alternative look at standardized testing. Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools.
Testing and Assessment: What Do the Tests Tell Us?
Many parents arrive in the world of gifted education with a report full of tests results, supposedly defining their child as "gifted." But more often than not, parents have more questions than answers upon receiving those test results. And just as often, the short answers from the psychologist, the school, the teachers, and other parents do more to confuse than clarify.
Testing in the Schools
John Holt
John Holt's article in which he lists questions that should be asked of school districts' testing policies.
The Case for Authentic Assessment
Grant Wiggins
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy 'items'--efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student's performance at those valued challenges.
The Evils Of Mandatory Testing
David Weathers
As home schooling grows as a movement, there is increasing politics from anti-home school forces to try to interfere with or legislatively control home schoolers. This has come to include legislative attempts to force home school students to take standardized tests along with public school students. But mandatory testing doesn't work in public schools, and it won't work for home schoolers.
The SAT vs. the ACT: Which to Choose?
Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take? It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. The Princeton Review Assessment (PRA) is designed to help you determine which test is better fit with your abilities.
What does the SAT measure? Aptitude? Achievement? Anything?
When the first SAT was created, it was named the Scholastic Aptitude Test, signaling that its creators and the education world believed it to be a test of aptitude, or, a student’s ability to perform well in college. Aptitude tests supposedly measure talents that indicate possible achievement in the future, while achievement tests supposedly reveal how much someone has learned in the past. All these years later, we know the test never really did measure anybody’s aptitude to do well in college.
What’s a Test? Why Unschoolers Test Scores Prove Nothing about Method
Linda Dobson
Most of us are familiar with the school perspective as so many of us have first-hand experience with it. It goes something like this: To learn, one must have a teacher dole out information. Your assignment as student, if you choose to accept it, is to work very hard to retain the information provided so you can score well on tests. When you score well on tests, you will be able to tack on four additional years of schooling by going to college. The better your test scores, the better the college you can attend. “Success” will ultimately be achieved when you getting a good job so you can make as much money as possible. Less familiar is the unschoolers perspective which goes something like this: “I would be against trying to cram knowledge into the heads of children even if we could agree on what knowledge to cram and could be sure that it would not go out of date, even if we could be sure that, once crammed in, it would stay in. Even then, I would trust the child to direct his own learning . For it seems to me a fact that, in our struggle to make sense out of life, the things we most need to learn are the things we most want to learn. ”

Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources Back to Top
Catforms Testing Service
Catforms Testing Service offers the 1970 California Achievement Tests with their own answer sheets and computer scoring. Key features of this system include graphical results in color, cumulative comparisons from year to year, and a detailed analysis of strengths and weaknesses in each area of the test. In addition to the original 1970 norms, they also have their own norms, the Catforms Percentiles, which are updated annually from the tests they have on file. The Catforms Percentiles are not a national norm, but are useful in comparing your students' performance with others from Christian schools and home schools today.
Crosspointe Educational Services
Crosspointe Educational Services is a mail order service that offers state-approved Survey and Complete Battery California Achievement Tests (CAT) in an effort to meet your testing needs. Their flexibility allows you your choice of testing dates and the opportunity to administer the test in the comfort of your own home; or you may choose to test with your support group or choose someone outside your home school to test your student.
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
Family Learning Organization Testing Services
Family Learning Organization offers standardized tests for homeschooling families. Through their Educational Assessment & Testing Service, tests may be obtained by parents to administer to their homeschooled children. Their services include standardized achievement tests (California Achievement Test, Fifth Edition), review of parent-administered assessments by a certified teacher, toll-free telephone answers to your questions about administering tests and interpreting results, and computerized score printouts for tests including Percentile Rankings, Grade Equivalencies, Stanine Scores and Scaled Scores, where applicable.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources/PASS Test
The PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers. It has certain similarities to other achievement tests in that it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math. But is has important differences. It introduces four major improvements over most achievement tests presently available. First, it was designed for parents to administer at home. This can greatly reduce the stress level of testing. Second, it is untimed, which helps students to relax. Third, the student's approximate achievement level within his or her grade is initially identified by use of a brief accompanying placement test. This assigns each child to a test level where he or she is more likely to succeed, and it also allows for shorter tests. Finally, testing results show overall achievement as well as performance in each subject. The test is standardized and children's scores are compared with both national and home-schooling populations. This does not mean that the test is nationally normed, but that the scores are equated to those of public school students taking one of the nationally-normed tests. The states of Alaska, New York, and North Carolina have officially approved the PASS Test for purposes of state reporting. In other states which require testing, you should check with your local school district to make sure it meets their requirements.
New Mexico Home School Achievement Test Guidelines
I. Each School District is Responsible for the Following:
A. MUST arrange a place and time for testing home school students. The location may be outside the school building. The time must be within the state testing timeframe. Notification of the time and place must be provided to all home school operators by January 30.
B. MUST allow trained home school operators to be test administrators for home school students. When a home school operator(s) is unavailable or not interested, trained school personnel will administer the test. Home school operators other than the test administrator may be present to serve as proctors provided their presence does not disrupt the testing environment. Local school districts will provide training to home school operators on administering the test. The administration of the test to home school students must be monitored at the testing site by paid school employees during their regular working hours. (No more than 30 students should be grouped together for testing with one test administrator and one or two proctors.)
II. Each Home School Operator is Responsible for the Following:
A. Meeting the requirement of public school code: "Test students annually…as determined by the State Superintendent." (S-22-1-2.1)
B. Notifying the appropriate school staff if the student is unable to attend the scheduled testing.
C. Arranging with the school district an appropriate time and place for makeup testing.
III. General Guidelines:
A. All home school children in grades 4, 6, and 8 are required to participate in the state mandated New Mexico Achievement Assessment Program. This assessment is the only norm-referenced achievement test administered statewide to public school students which provides comparability information using national norms. No other statewide testing is required for home school student (The home school students will participate in the norm-referenced CTBS 5/TERRANOVA SURVEY PLUS only, and may opt to take all subjects or just the Reading/language and Mathematics tests within the battery).
B. If a school district assesses a fee, it is recommended that the fee not exceed the contractor's per student cost. Any additional costs associated with a special administration should be reasonable and justifiable.
C. Individual student score reports should be provided to the home school operator for each home school student who is tested.
D. Test answer sheets of home school students in grades 4,6, and 8 taking the required tests will be scored by the test contractor designated by the State Department of Education.
E. Home school students enrolled in grades 4, 6, and 8 who do not test and who are not exempt will be reported to the State Department of Education by the end of the school year. The Department will notify the local school district that the home school operator is in violation of the Statute 22-1-2.1 and the Compulsory School Attendance Law (S-22-12-1). In this event, school district policy should be followed as in the case of any other student who is in violation of this statute.
IV. Optional Testing Procedures
A. Home school operators with student enrolled in grades 4, 6, or 8 may elect to use the Bob Jones University Press (BJUP) testing service instead of testing their students through the New Mexico public schools. BJUP does not offer the CTBS tests. Therefore, the home school operator should request the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, Form L. It is the home school operator's responsibility to make these arrangements and to pay for this service. (By calling 1-800-845-5731 and asking for Customer Service, you may obtain detailed information.)
B. If using the BJUP testing service, it is the responsibility of the home school operator to notify the local school district testing office no later than January 15. This will help staff plan and budget for the year.
Seton Home Study School Testing Services
Seton offers standardized testing for homeschoolers. They featuring the CAT-E Survey tests, which are inexpensive, can be administered in your home, and have a very quick turn around.
Thurber's Educational Assessments
Offering the California Achievement Test (C.A.T./5), specifically the C.A.T./5 Complete Battery and the C.A.T./5 Survey. They also offer TerraNova CTBS and TerraNova 2 (CAT/6) for homeschools, private schools, or organized groups. Test results are sent directly to you, helping you understand your student’s academic standing.
Triangle Education Assessments
Triangle Education Assessments offers the Iowa Tests and Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement.


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