Alumni Group Urges SC Lawmakers to Give Homeschoolers Access to the ACT
For Immediate Release: ACT and AP testing offer homeschooled students crucial external avenues for documenting their education
Canton, Ma., 01/30/2019—The Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE) is calling for South Carolina lawmakers to pass House Bill 3049, which would grant homeschooled students access to AP and ACT testing in their local public schools subject to the same fees other students pay.
“We urge lawmakers to pass HB 3049,” said Dr. Rachel Coleman, executive director of CRHE, a national nonprofit founded by homeschool graduates to advocate for homeschooled children. “The ACT and AP tests play a crucial role in helping homeschooled students document mastery of subjects they have studied to show college admissions officers,” she added. “These students need access to these tests.”
Because homeschooling parents typically create their children’s diplomas and transcripts, leaving these documents open to potential bias, colleges and universities often depend on external documentation of a student’s education, such as ACT test scores and the results of AP tests, to evaluate their academic achievement. In a 2003 dissertation, Richard Barno found that admissions officers placed more weight on homeschooled students’ ACT scores than they did on other students’ ACT scores. “It is crucially important that homeschooled students have access to these tests,” said Coleman. “For some students, particularly in rural areas, public schools may be their only avenue for access to these exams.”
CRHE has long expressed concern about data pointing to a low college attendance rate for homeschool graduates. “While the vast majority of colleges admit homeschool graduates today, we still get emails from homeschool graduates struggling with the documentation college admissions officials want to see,” said Coleman. “We advise parents homeschooling children of high school age to use AP tests to to help verify their children’s studies.” Ensuring that homeschooled students have access to ACT and AP testing can help more homeschoolers access higher education.
Many public high schools have allowed homeschooled students to participate in ACT and AP testing on their campuses for years without incident. Homeschooled students pay the same testing fees that other students pay, and take the same tests, which are proctored by the same teachers. “Ensuring that homeschooled students have access to these exams does not create a burden for public schools, and the good such access does for homeschooled students cannot be underestimated,” said Coleman. “We urge South Carolina lawmakers to pass HB 3049.”
The Coalition for Responsible Home Education is a national organization founded by homeschool alumni and dedicated to raising awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, providing public policy guidance, and advocating for responsible home education practices.