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NEWARK, Ohio — A superintendent of schools was willing to bend state law in order to gather information about a homeschool family, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSDLA) is alleging.
David Hile, the superintendent for the Licking Valley Local School District in Ohio, asked to see the detailed (subset) test results for an unidentified homeschool student in Newark, Ohio, who had scored well above the minimum requirement.
That is more information than is required by Ohio state law, HSDLA attorney Michael P. Donnelly pointed out in an email to Hale.
The student scored in the 30th percentile of a standardized test, and the state minimum is the 25th percentile. Hile, though, thought the student’s score was too low.
Ohio law states: “Any child that has a composite score at or above the twenty-fifth percentile shall be deemed to be performing at a level of reasonable proficiency.”
“That information is all that is required by law,” Donnelly wrote.
Hile agreed to back off this time, although he made no promises about the future.
“It is my responsibility under the law,” Hile insisted in a letter to Donnelly, “… to ensure that children in my district are receiving an adequate education [and] I take that responsibility very seriously, whether those children are in our schools or homeschooled. I will continue to question parents as I see fit.”
Donnelly said Hile’s response means homeschoolers must remain vigilant.
“Hile’s response was an over-the-top and overbearing reaction to a simple point of clarification,” Donnelly said. “His attitude reflects an arrogance that implies homeschoolers are not up to the task of educating their children. The facts show that the reverse is true, and I will happily defend our members when they encounter problems with similar public school officials.”
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