Alternative Academic Assessment
The law specifies that the annual assessment requirement can be met when:
(iv) The child completes an alternative academic assessment of proficiency that is mutually agreed upon by the parent or legal guardian and the county superintendent. Criteria for acceptable progress shall be mutually agreed upon by the same parties;
Alternative assessment possibilities include grades and evaluations from correspondence schools and/or recognized homeschool curriculum courses; an assessment from a specialized program such as the Autism Training Center, Marshall University’s HELP program, and other similar programs designed to assess performance, particularly of special needs students. In certain circumstances, an assessment by interview has been accepted. One homeschooler’s alternative assessment consisted of grades from a correspondence course for math, science, social studies, and an evaluation from his mother, who had been an English teacher. If you have an idea for an appropriate assessment for your child, run it by the county superintendent and see what you can work out.
Performance assessments, sometimes called authentic assessments are receiving increased attention. Many states, including WV, are looking for ways to incorporate such assessments into their annual assessment procedures. These links, http://www.projectappleseed.org/assesment.html and http://www.weac.org/professional_resources/Testing/performance_assessment.aspx, can help you understand better what performance assessments are and may give you ideas for an alternative assessment to propose to the county superintendent.
If you decide to pursue this form of evaluation, make sure you approach the county well in advance of the June 30 assessment deadline – September is not too early to develop an agreement -- and have a written agreement signed by the county superintendent or his representative that describes the assessment and specifies how progress will be determined. Many parents are able to handle this informally through email with their county's attendance director. WVHEA’s alternative academic assessment form may help with the paperwork involved in this process.