In New Jersey, just 19 Paterson district high school students graduated college ready—even though the school district spent well over $15,000 per pupil and more than $100,000 each for 66 school officials’ salaries.

While New Jersey’s busy rewarding school reps for no good reason, Virginia apparently prefers harassing students for success. As the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) reports:

After an HSLDA member family used their two children’s ACT test scores for the required year-end assessment, a public school representative told them: “The ACT is not an acceptable option as it does not address grade-level academic progress.”

After asking for help, HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott A. Woodruff wrote a letter urging the school representative to reconsider. He pointed out that the younger student’s ACT score of 21 (equivalent to the 55th percentile) ranked that student above average for college-bound pupils taking the ACT. Not bad for a 9th grader! He added that the 12th grader’s score of 26 put that student in the 83rd percentile. Virginia law provides that a score at the 23rd percentile is “passing.” …

Both students far surpassed Virginia’s “passing” score even though the ACT is not, statistically speaking, based on grade-level norms. In fact, the ACT is much more demanding than the ITBS, CAT, or other tests that express a student’s results as a grade-level equivalent. The parents should be commended, not questioned, for giving their children one of the most challenging tests available.

After taking a second look at the situation, the school representative accepted the two student’s ACT scores in satisfaction of Virginia law. 

Parents should have to justify their children’s success to public school officials. And, they certainly shouldn’t have to seek legal help to defend their right to choose their children’s educational setting.

Congratulations to parents like these who encourage their children to rise to challenges both in and out of the classroom.