In North Carolina, an annual standardized test should be administered to all homeschooled students from the age of 7 until their graduation from your Homeschool Program.
The tests need to be nationally-normed standardized achievement tests, which simply means that the students test scores are compared to other students throughout the nation rather than compared to students only within their state. The “End of Grade” tests for NC that are administered by the public schools do not meet this criteria.
Diagnostic tests, aptitude tests and college entrance exams like the PSAT and the SAT do not fit the criteria. The ACT exam is a good choice for a homeschooled high school student’s annual testing since it covers the required subject areas and is a nationally normed standardized test. (G.S. 115C-549 and G.S. 115C-557 )
Tests must measure achievement in the areas of :
- English Grammar
Tests can be administered by parents or in a group setting. Online tests that meet the state’s criteria are a viable option. This website has links to testing providers on the Annual Testing page.
Tests that you may want to look into include: the California Achievement Test (CAT), the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) – grades 1 to 8, Iowa Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP) for Grades 9 to 12, the Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS), the Stanford Achievement Test, Terra Nova tests and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement.
Tests like the Woodcock Johnson tests are very individualized, can often be less stressful and are good for non-readers since they are mainly verbal and take less time than written exams. Those tests are administered by professionals rather than by parents, but parents may prefer to get their results quickly and some test administrators offer input and advice as well.
Tests for each student in your homeschool need to be maintained on the premises for at least one year along with the other required documentation, attendance and vaccination records or immunization exemption when appropriate for medical or religious reasons. You can voluntarily report online to the NCDNPE that you have testing records available.
If you have questions about immunization records, the NC Immunization Branch website is a good resource for investigating vaccination exemptions. Click Here to read more.
You can voluntarily provide the information that you have met the requirements online at the NCDNPE website by completing the online Homeschool Updates and Changes Form.
Testing Requirements According to HSLDA
“Parents must administer an annual standardized test (§ 115C-564) any time during the school year which must be made available on request “for inspection” by the state. “For one year after the testing, all records shall be made available … at the principal office of such school, at all reasonable times, for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina.” (§ 115C-549 or § 115C-557).
Although the Division of Nonpublic Education has attempted to perform home visits under this provision, the law gives its officials no right to enter homes or to inspect any records besides test scores. There is also no statutory requirement for parents to attend regional meetings arranged by the Division of Nonpublic Education for the purpose of reviewing their records. Copies of testing results can be simply mailed to the Division of Non-Public Education upon request. “
Click to Read the HSLDA Analyisis of the NC Homeschool Law
Annual Testing Links