Home-schoolers do well on standard tests

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The nation's home-schooled children score, on average, at the 88th percentile on standardized tests in reading, math and language, according to a study commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association and conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute.

The study included nearly 12,000 home-schooled students from all 50 states who took the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills or the Stanford Achievement Test in 2007-2008, according to an opinion piece written by Michael Smith, HSLDA president, which was printed in The Washington Times.

The average public school student taking the same standardized tests scored at the 50th percentile, Smith wrote.

Home-school scores showed little "achievement gap" by gender or household income, Smith wrote. Boys scored at the 87th percentile and girls at the 88th. Children of parents with household income between $35,000 and $49,000 scored at the 86th percentile, while those in households with income at $70,000 or higher scored at the 89th.  In cases when both parents held a college degree, the average increased to the 90th percentile.

Smith suggested that the higher scores are due in part to one-on-one instruction in the home-school setting.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 1.5 million children are taught at home, the article said.

The Washington Times, "Home-Schooling: Outstanding Results on National Tests," Aug. 30, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Attorney: Home-schoolers must defend parental rights," June 3, 2009