Achievement Tests

Nationally Standardized Achievement Tests
for Colorado Homeschoolers

In Colorado, every type of homeschooler and unschooler have two choices to determine our child’s academic progress:

1. Give your child a Nationally Standardized Achievement Test.
2: Have your child Evaluated.

The Colorado Home School Statute requires homeschooled children to comply with Option 1 or 2 above, sometime during the odd grade levels (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th). The tests can be given at any time throughout the calendar year: In the summer, at the beginning of your homeschool year, at Christmas, towards the end of your homeschool year — or any time in between. It’s totally up to you. You can also test more than once a year if you like. Don’t worry about when the public schools do their testing. They have their timetable. As a homeschooler, you have yours.

What Counts As A Nationally Standardized Achievement Test?
Excerpted from The Colorado Homeschool Law In A Nutshell: They’re pretty much what you think they are: a booklet, a No. 2 pencil, don’t start until the instructor says so, fill in the little circles to indicate your answer.

The Law In A Nutshell also answers:
* Who administers the test?
* Can I test my own child?
* Can my child be tested to find out where they’re at academically, without the results “officially” counting?
* What happens if my kiddo scores low?
* Where do I file the results?

The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools
Many of the leading tests were never intended to measure teaching skills. Or learning results.

I Read It, But I Don’t Get It
Have a struggling reader? This is a fun and easy guide (really) on how to help them. Grades 6-12, but I’m sure it’ll work for the younger set too.

* March 2024: Parents Not Allowed in Child’s Classroom
* 2023: Colorado won’t reduce testing requirements
* 15 Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Problematic
* Standardized Tests Lie

Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted, counts.
Albert Einstein

Achievement Test Providers

Academic Excellence
Provides a variety of California Achievement Tests (CAT), online and paper versions, in specific subjects, grade levels or the complete battery. The CAT can be given to a homeschooled student by their parent.

BJU Press
Offering the Stanford Achievement Test and the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills). These tests may only be administered by pre-approved testers.

Bayside School Services
My personal favorite. Homeschool veterans Donny and Sandy Ball offer the 1970 version of the CAT (because academic standards were higher then), plus the newer CAT/6 TerraNova2. Their testings services are available year-round. (Note: This is unusual because not many testing companies do this. Instead they only allow testing during ‘testing seasons’.)

Dumbing Us Down
Dumbing Us Down:The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

“Since Dumbing Us Down, I’ve written four other books. But Dumbing Us Down remains my favorite because it opened my eyes to the harm I had caused in order to make a living.” –author John Taylor Gatto, New York City and New York State Teacher of the Year.

Brewer Testing Services
Offer a variety of different tests year-round: The ITBS, Terra Nova CAT6, and Woodcock Johnson IV.

C.H.E.S.S (Colorado Heritage Education School System)
Provides standardized testing for Colorado home school families who attend their Independent School or their Academy. They use the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) for grades 3 through 8 and the Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) for grades 9 through 12. Group testing is offered annually in three locations: Greeley, Fort Collins, and Loveland.

Christian Liberty Press
Provides both paper and online versions of the 1970 CAT (California Achievement Test). They too, use the older 1970 version of this nationally normed achievement test, because the newer editions reflect a lower academic standard.

Family Learning Organization
Offers the CAT/5 (which any parent can administer themselves), Stanford Online, the Terra Nova 1st and 2nd Editions.

Hewitt Homeschooling PASS Test
Developed specifically for homeschoolers, P.A.S.S. (Personalized Achievement Summary System) is an untimed, low-stress achievement test for homeschoolers grades 3-8. PASS is for your information ONLY; it is not accepted by Colorado as a nationally standardized achievement test. Your child may take the test twice a year, at least 5.5 months apart.

Piedmont Education Services
Provides the California Achievement Test (CAT) 5th Edition and the Terra Nova, 2nd Edition.

Seton Testing Services
Carries the ITBS, Stanford 10 Online, the Terra Nova 2, and the CAT-E Survey.