Monday, January 22, 2007

The Homeschool Shuffle

My frustrations for your enjoyment.

As homeschoolers in West Virginia, we a required to provide the county with a year end assessment of our children's academic progress. We can choose either a standardized test or a portfolio assessment by a certified teacher.

Kellen has never had a standardized test, and frankly, I'd like to see how he compares to his peers. There are several choices, but to simplify, I can pay for a test or have him take the West Virginia test for free. I choose free.

Today I tried to call to make arrangements.

First the local school.
Mr. M: Well you can take the test, but nobody has told me about homeschoolers taking it. You need to call Mr. B at the board office to make arrangements. He is over homeschoolers.

The Board Office.
Mr. B: You need to notify the test coordinator at your local school.
Me: Well, I talked to Mr. M and he told me to call you.
Mr. B: He isn't the building test coordinator, so he wouldn't know what you need to do.
Me: (in my head) Well he is the principal, shouldn't he know to let me talk to the test coordinator in his building?! (out loud) Do you know who the test coordinator is for that building?
Mr. B: No. You probably, also, need to talk to Mr. T. He is the county test coordinator. I will transfer you.

Mr. T: We should be soon, if we haven't already, sending a letter to the homeschoolers about testing. Then you will need to notify Mr. B's secretary that you intend to take the test. She will notify Mr. M.
Me: I just talked to Mr. B who sent me to you. This is our first year doing this. I know I am early, but just wanted to be sure I don't miss any deadlines. I can just wait for the letter then?
Mr. T: Well. . . let me just send you to Mr. B's secretary so we can be sure your name gets on the list. I will transfer you.

Mr. B answered the phone.

At this point, I hung up and marked my calendar to look for the letter and check again in March!

Government bureaucracy at its' finest. Why do I homeschool? Why do I doubt I will ever go back to public school teaching? Do you really need to ask?


  1. We test with Tri-State. It's a half day deal...sometimes a little longer if you get a slow kid in your grade. It isn't free but not too horribly expensive ($35). To me, it's worth the expense to get it done in one day plus I'm afraid lots of unfamiliar kids and atmoshere of a classroom would be a huge distraction. I bet you'd spend $35 in gas just driving to town every day for a week! LOL!!!

  2. What a headache.

    You should move to Wisco. They have a great homeschool group to lobby the govt so they don't pass laws like the one you mentioned. There's no sending in progress reports or taking tests required.

  3. Mary - You are probably right. Do you have info for Tristate's testing? I didn't see it on their website.

    Burdockboy - Sounds like a great place to homeschool. Are you thinking of homeschooling?

  4. Wow, I was thinking about doing the testing option too, for the same reason, but it sounds like a real hassle. We live in Virginia. The portfolio assessment is looking better and better.