Evansville homeschool parents upset by testing policy EVSC says has never changed

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Updated Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation rules have some homeschool parents on edge about exams. They believe kids are getting short-changed on high-level classes.

The EVSC School Board recently revised policies for AP and PSAT tests. The school corporation says it was minor legal changes not to restrict homeschool students.

Now some homeschool parents like Brookeanne Walters say their students can’t take major tests.

Walters has six kids she teaches from home and they are getting to the age where AP classes for college credit are appealing. However, Walters said she can’t get her kids into a school to take the test or get any prep work for the SAT.

“I am incredibly concerned,” she said.

Jason Woebkenberg, a spokesman for EVSC, says only enrolled students can take AP or PSAT tests. That includes students who enroll in a single class.

“Anyone who wants to take that exam, they simply need to enroll in that one course, they can go to one of our traditional brick and mortar schools or they can go through our EVSC virtual academy.”

According to EVSC, it has always been this way. Practice SATs are given during the school day and aren’t available to students outside the school classroom.

School officials say AP has strict standards, and they are not able to hand out tests to students who didn’t complete coursework in an EVSC school.

“It is not a new policy,” Woebkenberg explained.

Walters says she and other parents were promised their kids could test in an EVSC school. She says online classes only offer a narrow selection and virtual learning isn’t ideal for everyone.

It has shocked Walters and other homeschooling parents in Evansville.

“We would have to go about 2 hours probably to find a school district that would accommodate every homeschooling parent for PSATs,” Walters said.

Walters believes the rule puts homeschool students at a disadvantage.

“Preparation for that is so important the schools pay for the kids to be able to take the test from 8th grade essentially until they graduate.”

The SAT and ACT test is available for any student, homeschool or not, to sign-up and take on a weekend.

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This story was originally published on August 15, 2019

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