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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 7, no. 8 (March 23, 1999).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c March 23, 1999
Scholastic achievement and demographic characteristics of home school students in 1998 / Lawrence M. Rudner.
x Research
v Periodicals.
2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
1 773
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
4 856


1 of 33 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 7 Number 8March 23, 1999ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal Editor: Gene V Glass, College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 1999, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES. Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characterist ics of Home School Students in 1998 Lawrence M. Rudner ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation College of Library and Information Services University of Maryland, College ParkThis article has Commentary Abstract This report presents the results of the l argest survey and testing program for students in home schools to date. In Sp ring 1998, 20,760 K-12 home school students in 11,930 families were a dministered either the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) or the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP), depending on their current grade The parents responded to a questionnaire requesting background and demographic information. Major findings include: the achievemen t test scores of this group of home school students are exceptionally hig h--the median scores were typically in the 70th to 80th percentil e; 25% of home school students are enrolled one or more grades above thei r age-level public and private school peers; this group of home school parents has more formal education than parents in the general popula tion; the median income for home school families is significantly hi gher than that of all families with children in the United States; and al most all home school


2 of 33students are in married couple families. Because th is was not a controlled experiment, the study does not demonstra te that home schooling is superior to public or private schools and the results must be interpreted with caution. The report clearly sugges ts, however, that home school students do quite well in that educatio nal environment. By current estimates, there are between 7 00,000 and 1,200,000 students enrolled in home schools in the United States. Further, by a ll accounts, the movement has been growing steadily over the past few years (Lines, 19 98). Yet, there is very little scientific literature concerning the population of home school students or even large samples of home school students. This study describes the academic achieve ment levels and some basic demographic characteristics of a large sample of st udents and their families. While the academic levels of home school students are describ ed in terms of public and private school norms, this study is not a comparison of hom e schools with public or private schools. Such comparisons would be fraught with pro blems. Home schooling is typically one-on-one. Public schools typically have classes with 25 to 30 students and an extremely wide range of abilities and background s. Home school parents are, by definition, heavily involved in their children's ed ucation; the same, unfortunately, is not true of all public or private school parents. Home schools can easily pace and adapt their curriculum; public and private schools typica lly have a mandated scope and sequence. The list of differences could continue. This study seeks to answer a much more mo dest set of questions: Does home schooling tend to work for those who chose to make such a commitment? That is, are the achievement levels of home school students comp arable to those of public school students? Who is engaged in home schooling? That is how does the home school population differ from the general United States po pulation?Methods Bob Jones University Press Testing and Ev aluation Service provides assessment services to home school students and private school s on a fee-for-service basis. In Spring 1998, 39,607 home school students were contr acted to take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS; grades K-8) or the Tests of Ach ievement and Proficiency (TAP; grades 9-12). Students were given an achievement te st and their parents were asked to complete a questionnaire entitled "Voluntary Home S chool Demographic Survey." A total of 20,760 students in 11,930 families provide d useable questionnaires with corresponding achievement tests. The achievement te st and questionnaire results were combined to form the dataset used in this analysis. This section provides descriptions of the achievement measures, the questionnaires, the Bob Jones University Press Test ing and Evaluation Service, and the procedures used to develop the dataset. Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Home schooled students in Grades K-8 took the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Form L, published by Riverside Publishing Co mpany, a subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin. Developed by University of Iowa professors the tests were designed and developed to measure skills and standards important to growth across the curriculum in the nation's public and private schools.


3 of 33 The ITBS reflects more than 50 years of t est development experience and research on measuring achievement and critical thin king skills in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and Inf ormation Sources. The scope and sequence of the content measured by the ITBS were d eveloped after careful review of national and state curricula and standards, current textbook series and instructional materials, and research (Riverside, 1993). All items were tried out and tested for e thnic, cultural, and gender bias and fairness prior to the development of the final form of the tests. Data on a nationally representative sample of public and private schools were collected in 1992 and used to form the initial national norms. The norms were upd ated in 1995 by Riverside. This study used these 1995 spring norms. Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP) Home schooled students in Grades 9-12 too k the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP), Form L, also published by Rivers ide Publishing Company. The TAP was designed and developed to measure skills and st andards important to growth across the high school curriculum. Like the ITBS, the TAP scope and sequence were developed after careful review of national and stat e curricula and standards, and current textbook series and instructional materials. Develo ped as an upward extension of the ITBS, the specifications, format, and design of the TAP tests are similar to that of the ITBS. TAP is fully articulated with the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Form L (Riverside, 1993). Background Questionnaires Background questionnaires were designed b y the staff of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Questions were determi ned by reviewing the questions in previous surveys, prioritizing them, and selecti ng only those that were most germane to the objectives of the study. Where possible, que stions and responses were made to match those used by the U.S. Census, U.S. Departmen t of Labor and the National Assessment of Educational Progress to facilitate co mparisons of home school students with students nationwide. HSLDA designed the survey to be much shor ter than previous survey instruments. They also sought to pose all questions in an objective format, rather than a constructed response format. In keeping with this a pproach, HSLDA worked with National Computer Systems to design forms to be com puter scanable, thereby removing the need for manual data processing. Bob Jones University Press Testing and Evaluation S ervice The Bob Jones University (BJU) Press Test ing and Evaluation Service is the largest and oldest of four organizations providing home school families access to standardized achievement tests. The Testing Service began offering the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and Tests of Achievement and Proficien cy in 1984. In subsequent years they added other helpful tools including practice m aterials, a personality inventory, and diagnostic tests. In 1993, the Stanford Achievement Test series was added as BJU Press assumed the testing that the Home School Legal Defe nse Association had been providing for its members. Since that time, a full range of writing evaluations (grades 3-12) and a career assessment have been added to th e growing number of evaluation


4 of 33tools offered by the Testing Service. Just as home school families were the imp etus behind the start of the Testing Service, home school families continue to be the la rgest sector utilizing the service. However, there are also a number of private schools that have chosen to use the services provided. Testing is provided for students throughout the United States and Canada, as well as many foreign countries. The BJU Press Testing and Evaluation Serv ice sends testing materials to qualified testers who administer the tests and retu rn them to the Testing Service for scoring. The results are then returned to the paren t. Many parents test primarily for their own information to verify that their home schooled students are progressing academically at a normal pace. Other parents use th e results to meet a state testing requirement or to provide documentation when they c hoose to return their students to a public or private school setting. Data Generation Procedures The following steps were followed to prod uce the data set: Parents contracted with Bob Jones University to be administered the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills or the Tests of Achievement Profici ency (39,607 students in probably 22,000 families). 1. Bob Jones certified test administrators, many of wh om were the students' parents. 2. BJU sent questionnaires and answer forms to the tes t administrators. 3. Tests and questionnaires were returned to BJU. BJU bundled the tests and sent them to Riverside Publishers for machine scoring. B JU bundled the questionnaires and sent them to National Computer S ystems for scanning. Unlike in previous studies, the parents did not know their scores ahead of time. 4. Electronic copy of the 23,415 test results and 23,3 11 questionnaire results were sent to the author of this report. These sets were merged to provide 20,900 cases with matching identification numbers. In order to w eight by state public school enrollment, 140 cases with missing state data were dropped. A total of 20,760 students formed the initial dataset used in the stu dy. After we formed the dataset with 20,760 students, we asked for the remainder of the 39,607 achievement test scores. We were informed that it would not be possi ble to disaggregate the remaining home school students from students in pri vate schools also contracting testing services. 5.Characteristics of Home School Students and Familie s This section provides a description of ho me school students and their families based on the 20,790 respondents to our questionnaire. The distri bution of students by state, gender, age, race, parent marital status, family size, mother's religi on, parent education, family income, television viewing, money spent on educational materials, and other demographic characteristics are identified and, where possible, compared to nationa l figures.State As shown in Table 2.1, respondents came f rom each of the fifty states. Several states, including Ohio, Georgia, and Virginia, have excepti onally high representation given their size. This is probably due to the fact that these states require testing of home school students. To reduce


5 of 33the effects of these and other overrepresented stat es, the data were weighted in all subsequent analyses by the number of public school students in each state. While we would have preferred to weight by the number of home schooled students in e ach state, such data are not available for all 50 states (Lines, 1998).Table 2.1 Participating Home School Students Classified by State StateFreq. Percent of sample AK61.3% AL181.9 AR42.2 AZ2011.0 CA8153.9CO8103.9 CT54.3 DC17.1 DE28.1 FL8604.1 GA15477.4GU10.0 HI112.5IA2341.1ID28.1 IL4512.2 IN5332.6 KS3191.5 KY163.8 LA5512.7 MA3431.6MD196.9 ME109.5 MI5232.5 MN7943.8MO3611.7 MS25.1 StateFreq. Percent of sample MT112.5 NC9724.7 ND100.5 NE126.6 NH176.8 NJ3241.6 NM189.9 NV53.3NY9424.5OH248411.9OK3821.8 OR67.3 PA5322.6 PR8.0 RI32.2 SC5792.8 SD27.1 TN3221.5TX11265.4UT35.2 VA16087.7 VI2.0 VT59.3 WA7873.8 WI2461.2 WV92.4WY40.2Student Age and Gender Table 2.2 shows the distribution of the r espondents by gender and age. About 50.4% or 10,471 of the respondents were females; 49.6% (10,3 19) were males. These figures are


6 of 33comparable to that of the population of 3 to 34 yea rs old enrolled in school (see U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1998, Table A-2). Some 51.4% of school enrollees nationally are male. The percentages are comparable at all age levels.Table 2.2 Participating Home School Students Classified by Gender and Age Age at time of testing (in years) 67891011121314151617 Females 50787911481318130112481049936774516264119 56.1%51.7%50.2%49.2%52.4%50.6%47.2%50.5%50.7%51.0%4 9.3%57.5%Males 3978201141136011811216117491875449527188 43.9%48.3%49.8%50.8%47.6%49.4%52.8%49.5%49.3%49.0%5 0.7%42.5%Total 904169922892678248224642223185415281011535207Student Grade Home school student grade placement was i dentified by their parents, presumably based on the grade level of the instructional materials. Tha t grade was used by BJU to determine the test levels and used in this report as a grouping variab le. Tables 2.3 shows the distribution of respondents and the nation by grade. There is a lar ge difference in the proportions of high school (grades 9-12) home school students and the nation. Compared to the national data, a relatively small percentage of home school students are enroll ed in high school. Possible reasons for this lower participation for high school students may be the relative newness of the home school movement, early graduation from high school, and po ssibly a desire on the part of some home school parents to enroll their children in a tradit ional high school. The distributional differences for students in grades 1 through 8 are minor.Table 2.3 Home School Students Classified by Grade with Percents and National School PercentsGrade 123456789101112 Home school 7.4% (1504) 10.6% (2153) 14.1% (2876) 12.9% (2625) 12.6% (2564) 11.9% (2420) 10.3% (2087) 8.8% (1801) 5.7% (1164) 3.8% (775) 1.6% (317) 0.3% (66) Nation 9.1% 8.8% 8.9% 8.7% 8.6% 8.7% 8.7% 8.4% 9.0% 7.9% 7 .1% 6.3% National data: US Census, 1997b, Table 254.Student Race Table 2.4 shows the racial distribution o f home school students in 1998 and for the students enrolled in elementary and secondary public and pri vate schools nationally in 1994. The distributions are quite different. The vast majorit y of home schooled children are non-Hispanic White. The largest minority groups for home school students (not shown in the table) are American Indians and Asian students who comprise so me 2.4% and 1.2% of the home school


7 of 33 students, respectively.Table 2.4 Racial Distribution of Home School Students And the Nation, in Percents White (not Hispanic) Black (not Hispanic) HispanicOther Home school 94.0%0.8%0.2%5.0% Nationwide 67.2%16.0%13.0%3.8%(National data: USDE, 1996; Indicator 27) Marital Status The great majority of home school student s are in married couple families. In contrast, only 72% of the families with at least one child enrolle d in school nationwide are in married couple families (Bruno and Curry, 1997, Table 19).Table 2.5 Home School Students Classified by Parents' Marital Status Marital Status FrequencyPercent Divorced800.7% Single (never married)440.4 Married11,33597.2 Separated 1311.1 Widowed 550.5 Missing data160.1 11,661 100.0%Children at Home Table 2.6 shows the distribution of child ren in home school families and families with children under 18 nationwide. On average, home scho ol students are in larger families. Nationwide, most families with school-age children (79.6%) have only 1 or 2 children with a mean of about 1.9 children per family. Most home sc hool families (62.1%) have 3 or more children with a mean of about 3.1 children per fami ly.


8 of 33 Table 2.6 Home School Families Classified by Family Size with National ComparisonHome School Families Nationwide Number of Children PercentNumber of Children Percent 1 8.3%1 40.8%2 29.62 38.83 28.63 14.3418.64 or more 6.15 8.4 6 3.9 7 or more 2.6 National Data: US Census, 1997a, Table 77 Mother's Religion We asked the home school families to iden tify the religious preference of each student's mother by selecting from a list of 27 religions. As shown in Table 2.7, the largest percentage of mothers identified themselves as Independent Fundam ental, Baptist, Independent Charismatic, Roman Catholic, Assembly of God, or Presbyterian. T he religious preference of the father was the same as that of the mother 93.1% of the time.Table 2.7 Home School Students Classified by Mother's Religion FrequencyPercent Independent Fundamental 5,119 25.1%Baptist5,07224.4Independent Charismatic1,6818.2Roman Catholic1,1065.4Assembly of God 8384.1Presbyterian7723.8Reformed 6853.4Other Protestant5002.5Pentecostal 4592.2Methodist 4202.1Lutheran 3531.7


9 of 33 Other Christian 2,21310.9Other 1,5726.2 Total20,790 100.0%Parent Academic Attainment As shown in Table 2.8, home school parent s have more formal education than the general population. While slightly less than half of the ge neral population attended or graduated from college, almost 88% of home school students have pa rents who continued their education after high school.Table 2.8 Distribution of Home School Students and Students N ationally Classified by Parent Academic Attainment Percent Did not finish high school High school graduate Some college, no degree Associate degree Bachelors degree Masters degree Doctorate Home school fathers 1.2% 9.3% 16.4% 6.9% 37.6% 19.8% 8.8 % Nation males 18.1 32.0 19.5 6.4 15.6 5.4 3.1 Home school mothers 0.5 11.3 21.8 9.7 47.2 8.8 0.7 Nation females 17.2 34.2 20.2 7.7 14.8 4.5 1.3 National data: U.S. Census (1996; Table 8) Family Income National data on family income are availa ble for 1995. As shown in Table 2.9, home school families span all income levels. On average, home s chool families have a higher income level than do families with children nationwide and all famili es nationwide. The median family income level for home school families in 1997 is about $52,000. The median income for families with children in 1995, nationwide, was about $36,000.Table 2.9 Distribution of Family Income for Home School Famil ies, Families with Children Nationwide, and All Families Nationwide by Income Levels, in Percen ts.


10 of 33 Home school Families with children All families Less than $10,000 0.8%12.6%10.5% $10,000 to $14,999 1.5 8.0 8.5 $15,000 to $19,999 2.2 6.1 6.8 $20,000 to $24,999 3.9 7.6 8.4 $25,000 to $29,999 4.9 7.5 7.8 $30,000 to $34,999 8.5 7.5 7.6 $35,000 to $39,999 8.1 7.1 7.0 $40,000 to $49,999 16.0 11.3 11.0 $50,000 to $74,999 32.5 18.4 18.1 $75,000 and over 21.6 13.8 14.3 National data: Bruno and Curry (1997, Table 19) Television Viewing The National Assessment of Educational Pr ogress collects information on the television viewing habits of fourth-graders. Home school fourt h-graders and fourth-graders nationally differ markedly in terms of television viewing. Home schoo l students rarely watch more than 3 hours of television per day; nearly 40% of the students nati onwide watch that much television.Table 2.10 Fourth-grade students Classified by Hours of Television Viewing Percent of students 6 or more hours per day 4 to 5 hours per day 2 to 3 hours per day 1 hour or less per day Home school 0.1% 1.6 33.1 65.3 Nationwide 19.0% 19.5 36.4 25.1 National data: NAEP Math 1997 Computer Use The Condition of Education provides a tabulation of the percent of students n ationwide who report using a computer by frequency of use for 4th 8th, and 11th graders in 1996. At each grade level, the distribution of computer use in 1998 by home school students is different from that of the nation in 1996. At each of these three grade le vels, much larger percentages of home school


11 of 33 students never use a computer. At the fourth-grade level, a much larger percent of home school students use a computer every day.Table 2.11 Computer Use among Home School Students and Students Nationwide in Grades 4, 8, and 11, in Perc ent Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 11 Home schoolNationwide Home schoolNationwide Home schoolNationwide Never 28.2% 11.4% 37.1% 23.3% 40.5 % 16.0% Less than once a week 29.4 16.3 28.9 29.2 28.9 34.2 Several times a week 21.6 62.5 18.0 30.7 17.5 31.8 Every day 20.8 9.9 16.0 16.7 13.1 18.1 National Data: Snyder and Wirt, 1998, Indicator 3. Money Spent on Educational Materials The amount of money spent in 1997 on home school education for textbooks, lesson materials, tutoring and enrichment services, and te sting ranged from less than $200 to more than $2000. As shown in Table 2.12, the median amount of money spent was about $400.Table 2.12 Home School Students Classified by Money Spent On Home School Education in 1997AmountFrequencyPercent <$2003,71817.9% 200-3997,03533.8 400-5994,467 21.5 600-799 1,9629.4 800-999 9854.7 1,000-1,5991,6307.8


12 of 33 1,600-1,9992471.2 >2,000 4112.0 Missing 336 1.6 Total 20,790 100.0% Other Demographic Characteristics Compared to the nation, a much larger per centage of home school mothers are stay-at-home mothers not participating in the labor force. Some 76.9% of home school mothers do not work for pay. About 86.3% that do work do so part time. Nati onwide, in 1996, only 30% of married women with children under 18 did not participate in the l abor force (US Dept of Census, 1997a, Table 632). A very large percentage of home school pa rents are certified to teach. Some 19.7% of the home school mothers are certified teachers; 7.1% of fathers. Almost one out of every four home school students (23.6%) has at least one parent who is a certified teacher. Only 7.7% of the respondents were enrolle d in a full-service curriculum program, i.e., a program that serves students and their parents as a "one-stop" primary source for textbooks, materials, lesson plans, tests, counseling, evaluat ions, record keeping, and the like for the year's core required subjects such as language, social stu dies, mathematics, and science.Academic Achievement The complete batteries of The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP) were used to asse ss student achievement in basic skills. The ITBS was used for home school students in Grades K-8; the TAP for students in grades 9-12. Almost all students took F orm L; a handful took parallel Form K. Achievement test batteries like the ITBS and TAP are a collection of tests in several subject areas that have been standardized a nd normed. Norms for all tests within these test batteries are based on the same group of students at each grade level. Such norms allow students to be compared with other stud ents and groups to be compared with other groups. The primary purpose of the ITBS and TAP i s to assess the academic achievement of students in public and private schools. Conseque ntly, much of the test development effort is devoted to identifying the content to be covered by these batteries. Riverside Publishers follow a four step process: 1) content s pecifications, 2) editorial review, 3) pilot testing, and 4) national norms development an d updating. The first and most critical step is devel oping content specifications and writing test items. This step involves the experience, rese arch, and expertise of a large number of professionals representing a wide variety of spe cialties in the education community. Specifications are developed which outline the grad e placement and emphasis of skills. These specifications draw heavily on an analysis of textbooks, research studies, nationally developed subject matter standards, and national curriculum committees. Once the items have been developed and pi lot tested, the final forms of the tests are developed and administered to large standardiza tion samples to gather normative data and to develop scales.


13 of 33 The spring standardization sample for the 10 levels of the ITBS consisted of approximately 137,000 students from public schools, Catholic schools and private non-Catholic schools. The public school sample was stratified to assure adequate representation based on geographic region, district enrollment, socioeconomic status of the district. The Catholic school sample was strati fied on geographic region and diocese enrollment. The non-Catholic private school sample was stratified on region and school type. The spring standardization sample for the fou r levels of the TAP consisted of approximately 20,000 students stratified on the sam e variables. National norms were developed based on the combined weighted distributi ons of all three school types: public, Catholic and non-Catholic private. Catholic /private school norms were developed based on the combined weighted distributi ons of the latter two groups. For simplicity, the combined public, Catholic and non-C atholic private school norms are referenced in this report as national norms or publ ic/private school norms. The data from the standardization sample are used to develop a variety of reporting scales, such as percentiles and grade equ ivalent scores. The analyses in this report rely primarily on the Developmental Standard Score (DSS) scale developed by Riverside Publishers. The DSS is a number that desc ribes a student's location on an achievement continuum that spans grades K through 1 2. Table 3.1 shows the median DSS and median age that corresponds to each grade l evel in the national standardization sample. The DSS scale shows that the average annual growth in DSS units decreases each year.Table 3.1 Median Developmental Scaled Scores and Median Age f or the ITBS/TAP Spring National Standardization SampleGrade K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 DSS 130150168185200214227239250260268275280 Age for age medians: Drahozal (1998, personal co mmunication) This same DSS scale is used for all tests and levels of the ITBS and TAP. The main advantages of the DSS are that it mirrors real ity well, spans all grade levels, and provides a quasi equal interval scale which has a v ariety of attractive statistical properties. Most importantly, DSS scores can be com pared to each other and can be meaningfully averaged. The main disadvantage of DSS scores is th at they have no built-in meaning. Reference points are needed to interpret DSS scores "Grade level" is one possible reference point. A DSS score of 170 in reading, for example, is about equal to the typical reading score for second-grade students in public and private schools in the spring of the year. A more refined reference is the percentile score that corresponds to each DSS score. The 170 in reading for example, corresponds to the 54th percentile o f second graders. That is, this score is better than the score received by 54 percent of the second graders using the 1995 spring norms. The reader should note that while all tes ts of the ITBS/TAP have the same


14 of 33median DSS score at each grade level, the distribut ions within each subject area vary. A DSS score of 310 for a tenth grader in reading, for example, corresponds to the 87th percentile. A DSS score of 170 in mathematics for a tenth grader would place the student at the 79th percentile. Percentiles are always defined in terms o f a grade level. This can be problematic when analyzing data for home school students. In th is study, 24.5% of the home school students were one or more grades above the grade us ually associated with that student's age (see Table 3.2). A strong case can be made that rather than using the percentile corresponding to the enrolled grade, as we did in t his study, one should use the percentile associated with the student's nominal gr ade, i.e., the grade usually associated with the student's age. The argument is that a 10-y ear-old home school student enrolled in 5th grade should be compared to his age peers in 4th grade. The counter argument is that the percentiles already consider the fact that students are not always in their nominal grade since the standardization sample had students above and below grade level. We initially analyzed the data both ways. Ra ther than expose our analysis to criticism, we chose to take the more conservative r oute by employing the enrolled grade. While very meaningful, percentiles do not provide a complete picture of a student's or group's academic performance. In this study, we used grade equivalent scores as an additional reference point for interpr eting DSS scores. A grade equivalent score approximates a child's development in terms o f grade and month within grade. A DSS reading score of 170 can be viewed as the typic al DSS score earned by students in the ninth month of the second grade or a GES score of 2.9. Just as the percentile associated with a DSS scores varies by subtest, so do the properties of GES scores vary across subjects. Grade Equivalent Scores are particularly useful for estimating a student's developmental status in terms of grade. But, these scores must be interpreted carefully. An GES Score of 6.3 in reading for an 9 year old in the 3rd grade, for example, clearly indicates that the third grader is doing well. This does not, however, mean that the third grader belongs in the 6th grade. It only means that the third grader can read as well as a sixth grader. The usual interpretation of a Grade Equiv alent Score of 6.3 for a third grader is that this third grade student can read third grade material as well as a sixth grader can read third grade material, not that he or she can r ead sixth grade material. The DSS of the ITBS/TAP, however, is unique. The DSS scales we re developed by administering the same special scaling test to students in grades K-3, another common scaling test to students in grades 3 to 9, and another to students in grades 8-12. Thus, in the scaling study, the third graders did take the same test as the sixth graders in each subject area. Grade Placement Home school students are able to progress through instructional material at the student's rate. Thus, it is easy for home school st udents to be enrolled one or more grades above their public and private school-age pe ers. To evaluate the frequency of advanced placement, we compared students' enrolled and nominal grades. The enrolled grade was identified by the parents and used to det ermine the ITBS/TAP level. The nominal grade is the public school grade in which t he student would normally be enrolled in based on the child's month and year of birth. As shown in Table 3.2, almost one fourth of the home school students (24.5%) are enrolled one or more grades above their nominal grade. While comparable figures


15 of 33nationally do not exist, one research director in a large school district estimated that less than 5% of their students are enrolled above grade level.Table 3.2 Home School Students Classified by Discrepancy Between Enrolled and Nominal GradeEnrolled minus Nominal Grade FrequencyPercent -2 58 0.3%-1 1,019 5.1 0 13,931 69.8 +1 4,637 23.2 +2 199 1.0 +3 58 0.3 Percentages do not sum to 100% due to a small percentage of students outside this range.Overall Achievement Table 3.3 shows the median scaled score ( DSS score) for home school students on the Composite with Computation, Reading Total, Language Mathematics Total with Computation, Social Studies and Science subtest scores by grade. The corresponding percentiles shown in the table are the within grade percentile scores for the nation that correspond to the given scaled scores. For example, home school students in Grade 3 have a median composite scaled score of 207 which c orresponds to the 81st percentile nationwide. The median home school student in third grade outperforms 81% of the third graders nationwide. As an additional comparis on, we provide the national median for each grade in the last column. By definition th is is the 50th percentile of students nationwide.Table 3.3 Median Scaled Scores (corresponding national percen tile) by Subtest and Grade for Home School StudentsGrade N Composite Reading Language Math Soc. Stud. Science National Median


16 of 3311504170 (91)174 (88)166 (82) 164 (81) 166 (80) 164 (78) 150 (50) 22153192 (90)196 (89)186 (80) 188 (85) 189 (81) 195 (86) 168 (50) 32876207 (81)210 (83)195 (62) 204 (78) 205 (76) 214 (83) 185 (50) 42625222 (76)228 (83)216 (67) 220 (76) 216 (68) 232 (81) 200 (50) 52564243 (79)244 (83)237 (69) 238 (76) 236 (71) 260 (86) 214 (50) 62420261 (81)258 (82)256 (73) 254 (76) 265 (81) 273 (84) 227 (50) 72087276 (82)277 (87)276 (77) 272 (79) 276 (79) 282 (81) 239 (50) 81801288 (81)288 (86)291 (79) 282 (76) 290 (79) 289 (78) 250 (50) 91164292 (77)294 (82)297 (77) 281 (68) 297 (76) 292 (73) 260 (50) 10775310 (84)314 (89)318 (84) 294 (72) 318 (83) 310 (79) 268 (50) 11317310 (78)312 (84)322 (83) 296 (68) 318 (79) 314 (77) 275 (50) 1266326 (86)328 (92)332 (85) 300 (66) 334 (84) 331 (82) 280 (50) It is readily apparent from Table 3.3 tha t the median scores for home school students are well above their public/private school counterparts in every subject and in every grade. The corresponding percentiles range fr om the 62nd to the 91st percentile; most percentiles are between the 75th and the 85th percentile. The lowest percentiles are in Mathematics Total with Computation subtest (labeled Math in the tables); the highest in Reading Total While the grade-to-grade increase in national med ians is 13 DSS points in the lower grades, the annual increase for home school students is about 16 points. These are exceptional scores and excepti onal grade-to-grade gains. As shown in Table 3.4, the same superiori ty of median scaled scores holds when comparing home school students to students enrolled in Catholic/Private schools. The Catholic/Private school percentiles corresponding t o median scaled scores range from the 53rd percentile to the 89th percentile; most ar e between the 65th to 75th percentile. In every area and every grade, the median scores fo r home school students exceed the median scores of students enrolled in Catholic/Priv ate schools.Table 3.4 Median Scaled Scores of Home School Students (Corresponding Catholic/Private School Percentile)


17 of 33by Subtest and GradeGrade Composite Reading Language Math Soc. Stud.Sci ence 1170 (89)174 (86)166 (80)164 (80)166 (73)164 (75)2192 (88)196 (84)186 (74)188 (81)189 (81)195 (85)3207 (74)210 (74)195 (55)204 (71)205 (69)214 (80)4222 (72)228 (72)216 (58)220 (69)216 (56)232 (76)5243 (71)244 (72)237 (60)238 (68)236 (60)260 (82)6261 (71)258 (71)256 (58)254 (65)265 (72)273 (77)7276 (72)277 (77)276 (63)272 (70)276 (68)282 (73)8288 (72)288 (75)291 (65)282 (68)290 (68)289 (67)9292 (63)294 (70)297 (61)281 (56)297 (63)292 (59) 10310 (71)314 (81)318 (71)294 (57)318 (72)310 (66)11310 (63)312 (72)322 (69)296 (56)318 (67)314 (63)12326 (74)328 (81)332 (71)300 (53)334 (74)331 (72) The relationship between median composite scaled scores for home school students, Catholic/Private school students, and the nation is shown in the Figure 1. At each grade level, the test performance of Catholic/ Private school students is above the national performance levels, especially in the high er grade levels. Also at each grade level, the performance of home school students is a bove the performance levels of students enrolled in Catholic/Private schools. The differences between these groups are considerable. For example, the median score for 7th graders nationwide is 239; for Catholic/Private school students the median is 257; for home school students the median is 276. Another way to look at this chart is to examine the grades corresponding to a given composite score. A composite scale score of 250, for example, is typical of a home school student in Grade 6, a Catholic/Private school student in Grade 7 and students nationwide in the later stages of grade 8.


18 of 33 Figure 1. Academic Achievement of Home School, Catholic/Private and the Nation's Students The Grade Equivalent Scores (GES) corresp onding to the median DSS scaled scores for home school students are shown in Table 3.5. These GES scores indicate the performance levels of home school students in terms of student grade placement nationwide. The median composite scaled score for f ourth-grade home school students, for example, is 217. This is comparable to the medi an score expected of students nationwide in the ninth month of fifth grade. Compa red to students nationwide, the median fourth-grade home school student test perfor mance is 1.1 grade equivalents above his public/private school peers. By 8th grade the median performance of home school students on the ITBS/TAP is almost four grad e equivalents above that of students nationwide. Similar trends hold for all su bject areas. The reader should recognize that the grad e equivalent scale tends to magnify differences at the high school level and that the p ercentile scale is more meaningful in these higher grades. While 50% of eighth grade home school students have scores that are 4 grade equivalents above the public school med ian, so do some 20% of eighth grade students in public schools. The revealing sta tistics are the percentiles which are consistently high across grade levels and subject a reas.Table 3.5 Median Scaled Scores (corresponding Grade Equivalen t Scores) by Subtest and Nominal Grade for Home School Students GradeCompositeReadingLanguageMath Soc. Stud. Science National Median


19 of 33 1170 ( 2.9)174 ( 3.1)166 ( 2.6) 164 ( 2.6) 166 ( 2.7) 164 ( 2.6) 150 ( 1.8) 2192 ( 4.1)196 ( 4.5)186 ( 3.8) 188 ( 4.0) 189 ( 4.0) 195 ( 4.5) 168 ( 2.8) 3207 ( 5.1)210 ( 5.5)195 ( 4.4) 204 ( 5.2) 205 ( 5.1) 214 ( 5.8) 185 ( 3.8) 4222 ( 6.2)228 ( 6.9)216 ( 5.9) 220 ( 6.4) 216 ( 5.9) 232 ( 7.3) 200 ( 4.8) 5243 ( 8.3)244 ( 8.3)237 ( 7.6) 238 ( 7.7) 236 ( 7.6) 260 ( 9.8) 214 ( 5.8) 6261 (10.1)258 ( 9.6)256 ( 9.4) 254 ( 9.1) 265 (10.4) 273 (11.6) 227 ( 6.8) 7276 (11.9) 277 (12.0) 276 (11.9) 272 (11.3) 276 (11.9) 282 (12.5) 239 ( 7.8) 8288 (12.9) 288 (12.9) 291 ( ) 282 (12.5) 290 ( )289 ( )250 ( 8.8) 9292 ( )294 ( )297 ( ) 281 (12.4) 297 ( )292 ( )260 ( 9.8) 10310 ( )314 ( )318 ( )294 ( )318 ( )310 ( ) 268 (10.8) 11310 ( )312 ( )322 ( )296 ( )318 ( )314 ( ) 275 (11.8) 12326 ( )328 ( )332 ( )300 ( )334 ( )331 ( ) 280 (12.8) (The sign indicates the scaled scores are b eyond the effective range for GES conversion.) The grade equivalent score comparisons fo r home school students and the nation are shown in Figure 2. In grades one through four, the median ITBS/TAP composite scaled scores for home school students are a full g rade above that of their public/private school peers. The gap starts to widen in grade five By the time home school students reach grade 8, their median scores are almost 4 gra de equivalents above their public/private school peers.


20 of 33 Figure 2. Home School Students Compared to the Nati onal Norm Group in Grade Equivalent Units Years of Home Schooling Almost half of the respondents (47%) indi cated that they have been home schooled for each grade prior to their current grad e, i.e., their entire academic life. Table 3.6 shows that students who are home schooled for t heir entire academic life do better than students who have been home schooled for only a few years (F academic life =108.2; df=1,9750; p<.01) There is also a significant interaction between g rade and years home schooled (F=7.4; df=9,9750, p< .01), indicating that the effectiveness of home schooling varies with the student's grade. The differences are most meaningful starting in Grade 6. [All F ratios reported here are from a two-way anal ysis of variance with composite scaled scores as the dependent measure, grade as a blockin g variable, and one independent variable. Because the students are within families, the datas et was trimmed by randomly selecting one child from each family. Had the full dataset been used, t he variance of the children within a family would have been artificially smaller than the variance of among children in the population of inference. This would have increased the risk of Type I error, showing significance when significance may not be so. To assure adequate cell sizes, the analyses were also restricted to Grades 1 through 10. A statistically significant difference only means tha t there is evidence of a difference in population values. The difference may be small and not meaning ful. "n.s." is used to indicate not significant.] One reviewer questioned whether this sign ificant difference was due to life-long home schooling or was life-long home schooling serv ing as a proxy for parent education or income. The correlation of life-long home school ing and whether either parent has a college degree is .12, indicating there is some, bu t not a great deal of overlap between these variables. The correlation with income level was .02, indicating no relationship. Thus, whether a student is home schooled his or her entire life appears to be significantly related to achievement.Table 3.6 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile


21 of 33 by Number of Grades Home Schooled and GradeGrade 12345678910 Home schooled entire academic life Mean170195208224244265278291300314sd12161720 2323252627 23N479 743863 608552444319242159 100%ile929585818285 8384 83 86 Home schooled some grades Mean 168192 206222241256270282 288299sd 111518 20242627303032N 221428616666681688628608436287%ile90928279 7978 777873 75Difference232239891215[The percentiles (%ile) shown in this and the follo wing tables are the within-grade percentiles corresponding to the mean composite scale scores, d ifferences and ranges refer to differences in and ranges of mean composite scale scores, sd refers to standard deviation, N is the number of students within each cell.] Enrolled in a Full-Service Curriculum There is no significant difference in the mean composite scaled scores of home school students enrolled in a full-service curricul um and home school students not so enrolled. As shown in Table 3.7, the means are quit e close at all grade levels (F enrollment=.24; df=1,9750; n.s.) .Table 3.7 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile by Full-service Curriculum Status and GradeGrade12345678910 Not enrolled in a full-service curriculum Mean170194207223243260272284291302sd12151720232526293031N64611091361121411451042847771495320%ile92948380818179797678 Enrolled in a full-service curriculum Mean167199209220241256272286289306


22 of 33 sd13171821242931303028N54631186089891017910067%ile89978676797879807481Difference3-5-2324 0-2-2 -4 Student Gender There are no significant differences in t he achievement levels of male versus female home school students (F for gender=.01; df=1,9750; n.s.). As shown in Table 3.8, the means are virtually identical at all grade levels.Table 3.8 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile by Grade and GenderGrade12345678910 Males Mean170195208223243260271285288303sd12151819232526303333N355576749639600597479428294181%ile92958580818178807378 Females Mean169193207223242260274284293303sd12161721242526282628N345595730634634535469422302206%ile91938380808180797778Difference 1 21010-31-50 Money Spent on Educational Materials There is a significant difference in the achievement levels of home school students depending on the amount of money spent per child on educational materials including textbooks, lesson materials, tutoring, en richment services, and testing (see Table 3.9). At almost every grade level, students i n families spending $600 or more outperform students in families spending less than $200 (F for money spent=41.1; df=3,9585; p <.01) There is also a significant interaction between g rade and money spent (F=2.7; df=27,9585; p <.01) indicating that the amount of money spent on education makes a bigger difference at the higher g rade levels. The correlation between money spent on educational materials and income is significant ( r=.24, p <.01 ), indicating that this effect may be due to family ch aracteristics rather than expenditures.


23 of 33 Table 3.9 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile by Money Spent on Educational Materials per Student an d GradeGrade12345678910 $600 or more mean171195208227245264278289298307sd11161721232525 302732N152236408329317306289260226147%ile93958584838483838181 $400-599 mean169196211222245261271286291306sd13151719222526253130N16028637626326825326117910569%ile91968879838278807681 $200-399 mean171194206220241257270280284299sd 121618202325263032 29N 252438456469410375249281186119%ile93948276797977767075 $199 or less mean166191203222238258265285284299sd11151720262427282530N13016321920422018613712274 45%ile8791 7879768073807075Range548777 139148 Family Income There is a significant difference in the achievement of home school students based on family income. As shown in Table 3.10, stu dents in higher income families consistently have higher mean composite scaled scor es (F for income = 79.1; df=3,9186; p < .01) There is also a significant interaction of income and grade (F =2.6; df=27,9186; p<.01) Achievement differences due to income are more pronounced for students in higher grades.Table 3.10


24 of 33 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile by Family Income and Stude nt GradeGrade12345678910 $70,000 or more mean173196211225247264278292301306Sd10151620232425282729N18830037035029630022620213980%ile95968882858483858481 $50,000 -69,999 mean169195209224243261274287293306Sd11151718232423262934N165285407352316293239214135109%ile91958681818280817781 $35,000 -49,999 mean169193206222241258270281292305sd12161921212326273030N16426632725126926226421214196%ile91938281798077817680 $34,999 or less mean167192204218237255262276278297sd14171721242829323031N14923230424527622817818114866%ile89927974757770736574Range64771091616139 Parent Certification as a Teacher To determine whether there is a differenc e in achievement for students in households where at least one parent holds a state issued teaching certificate, we analyzed the data for the 7,607 students with at le ast one parent that has a college degree. As shown in Table 3.11, the achievement lev els across groups are remarkably similar. Controlling for grade and parent education level, there is no significant difference in the achievement levels of home school students whose parents are certified and those that are not (F for certification=2.9; df=1,7587; n.s.) .Table 3.11 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile


25 of 33 by Parent Teaching Certificate and Student GradeGrade 12 34 5678910 At least one certified parent Mean172196212225245268278289299308sd11161520212124242531N18329334228529024524320813788%ile94968982838783838282 Neither parent certified Mean171195210225246263276291299309sd12151619222425252827N396688840734661616470412 281195%ile93958782848382848283Difference112 0-15 2-20-1 Parent Education Levels The National Assessment of Educational Pr ogress has consistently shown marked differences in the performance levels of students n ationwide as a function of parent's educational level. Similar differences appear in th e performance levels of home school students. As shown in Table 3.12, at every grade le vel, children of college graduates out perform children whose parents do not have a colleg e degree ( F=566.4; df=2,9744; p < .01 ). There is also a significant interaction between grade and parent education ( F=8.7; df=18,9744; p < .01 ), indicating that the effect of parent education i s more pronounced in some grades. It is worthy to note that, at every grade level, the mean performance of home school students whose parents do not have a co llege degree is much higher than the mean performance of students in public schools. Their percentiles are mostly in the 65th to 69th percentile range.Table 3.12 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile by Parent Education and Student Grade Grade 1 2 3 45 6 78 910 Both parents have college degrees Mean 178196212228249268278 296306314sd11151519212225222426N367640706567535501420325206137%ile98 96898586 87 83 8887 86


26 of 33 One parent has a college degree Mean172194208222242260275285293304sd131516192224 24 25 2829N 212341477451417361293 297 212 147%ile9494 857980 8181807779 Neither parent has a college degree Mean161187196212231245260268271288sd101617192525283427 33N 121191297 255 285270 233231 177 104%ile79 876766 68 676966 5967Range1791614172318 28 3526 Television Watching It was pointed out above that home school students spend significantly less time watching television than do the general population of school-age students. Like the nation as a whole, increased amounts of television viewing for home school students is associated with lower achievement test scores. Tabl e 3.13 shows that at every grade level, there is a steady decline in achievement as the amount of television viewing increases (F for televison viewing =142.5; df=3,9685; p <.01) The interaction of grade and amount of television viewing is also significan t (F=5.5; df=27,9685; p <.01) The effects of television on achievement are more prono unced with students in higher grades.Table 3.13 Composite Scale Score Mean, Standard Deviation and Corresponding Percentile by Amount of Television Viewing Each Week and GradeGrade 12345678910 No Television mean166199213227251271281294308307sd13151519222426252727N8116416516117214011710710264%ile87979084888986868881 1 hour or less mean171196208225245263274288298308sd12151720222325292529N355554795650586525453369225186


27 of 33 %ile93968582838380828182 2 hours mean169191205219238253268279278299sd11151820232627273129N18632538033333330923724118292%ile91918175767575756575 3 hours or more mean169187203216233252269275281280sd11171720262728312935N751211361171351551401308643%ile91877871707476726760Range5121011181913193028 Summary of Major FindingsMajor findings: Demographics Home school parents have more formal education than parents in the general population; 88% continued their education beyond hi gh school compared to 50% for the nation as a whole. The median income for home school families ($52,000 ) is significantly higher than that of all families with children ($36,000) i n the United States. Almost all home school students (98%) are in marrie d couple families. Most home school mothers (77%) do not participate in the labor force; almost all home school fathers (98%) do work. Home school students watch much less television tha n students nationwide; 65% of home school students watch one hour or less per day compared to 25% nationally. The median amount of money spent annually on educat ional materials is about $400 per home school student. The distribution of home school students by grade i n grades 1-6 is consistent with that of all school children. Proportionally fewer h ome school students are enrolled at the high school level. Major findings: Achievement Almost 25% of home school students are enrolled one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools. Home school student achievement test scores are exc eptionally high. The median scores for every subtest at every grade (typically in the 70th to 80th percentile) are well above those of public and Catholic/Private school students. On average, home school students in grades 1 to 4 p erform one grade level above


28 of 33their age-level public/private school peers on achi evement tests. The achievement test score gap between home school students and public/private school students starts to widen in grade 5. Students who have been home schooled their entire a cademic life have higher scholastic achievement test scores than students wh o have also attended other educational programs. There are no meaningful differences in achievement by gender, whether the student is enrolled in a full-service curriculum, o r whether a parent holds a state issued teaching certificate. There are significant achievement differences among home school students when classified by amount of money spent on education, f amily income, parent education, and television viewing. Discussion Incorporating the largest sample ever use d to study home school students and their families, this study is a rich source of info rmation concerning their demographics and achievement. It clearly shows that home school students and their families are a select population. Family income and education leve ls are well above national averages. The family structure is traditional with married co uples as parents, several children, father as bread winner, and a stay-at-home mother. A large percent of home school students have a parent that has held a state-issued teaching certificate. Home school families do not spend a great deal of money on educ ational materials and tend not to subscribe to pre-packaged full-service curriculum p rograms. In spite of the large size of this assess ment, there are notable limitations to this study. Foremost, home school students and their fam ilies are not a cross-section of the United States population. The act of home schooling distinguishes this group in terms of their exceptionally strong commitment to educati on and children. There are major demographic differences between home school familie s and the general United States population. Further, it should be noted that it was not possible within the parameters of this study to evaluate whether this sample is truly representative of the entire population of home school students. The content of the Riverside tests is ano ther major limitation of this study. While home schools teach the basic skill areas of reading mathematics, social studies, and science, they do not necessarily follow the same sc ope, sequence, or emphasis as traditional public and private schools. The primary focus of many home schools is on religious and moral values. Home schools can and do place a greater emphasis on study skills, critical thinking, working independently, a nd love of learning. Public and private schools usually select the Riverside test due to it s close alignment with their curriculum; home schools select the test primarily out of convenience. We were conservative in our analysis of a chievement test results. Even though some 25% of home school students are enrolled in an advanced grade level, we used current grade placement rather than the age appropr iate grade placement when determining percentiles and grade equivalents. When looking at test scores, we chose the composite score with mathematics computation, e ven though mathematics appears to be a weaker subject for older home school studen ts. As a result, we have probably underestimated home school academic performance lev els. Even with our conservative approach, the achievement levels of the home school students in this study are exceptional. Within each grade level and each skill area, the median scores for home school students fell between the 70th and 80th percentile of students nationwide and between the 60th and 70th p ercentile of Catholic/Private


29 of 33school students. For younger students, this is a on e year lead. By the time home school students are in 8th grade, they are four years ahea d of their public/private school counterparts. Our results are consistent with previous studies of the achievement of home school students. A 1990 national home schooling sur vey of 1,516 families in the United States noted that, on average, home education famil ies have parents with greater formal education, more children, and higher family income ( Home School Court Report 1990). Two-parent families were the norm and they were pre dominantly Christian. The average age of the children was just over eight years--a ma jority of the children had never attended public or private schools. There were equa l numbers of male and female students. On standardized achievement tests, the ho me-schooled students performed at or above the 80th percentile on national norms in r eading, listening, language, math, science, social studies, basic battery, and complet e battery scores. Calvery (1992) compared the achiev ement of Arkansas home schooled and public schooled students in grades 4, 7, and 10 usi ng 6 subscales of the MAT-6. Home schooled students scored higher than their counterp arts in reading, mathematics, language, total basic battery, science, and social studies at grade 4 and grade 7. They also scored significantly above public school means for grade 10 in reading, mathematics, total basic battery, science, and soci al studies, but scored significantly lower in language. Ray (1997) analyzed demographic and achie vement data from 5,402 home school students in 1,657 families. While Ray used a differ ent approach to analyze achievement data, he noted exceptionally high average achieveme nt levels and that students with long histories of being home schooled had higher ac hievement scores. Home school students did quite well in 19 98 on the ACT college entrance examination. They had an average ACT composite scor e of 22.8 which is .38 standard deviations above the national ACT average of 21.0 ( ACT, 1998). This places the average home school student in the 65th percentile of all ACT test takers. These comparisons between home school stu dents and students nationwide must be interpreted with a great deal of caution. This w as not a controlled experiment. Students were not randomly assigned public, private or home schools. As a result, the reported achievement differences between groups do not control for background differences in the home school and general United S tates population and, more importantly, cannot be attributed to the type of sc hool a child attends. This study does not demonstrate that home schooling is superior to public or private schools. It should not be cited as evidence that our public schools ar e failing. It does not indicate that children will perform better academically if they a re home schooled. The design of this study and the data do not warrant such claims. All the comparisons of home school students with the general population and with the p rivate school population in this report fail to consider a myriad of differences bet ween home school and public school students. We have no information as to what the ach ievement levels of home school students would be had they been enrolled in public or private schools. This study simply shows that those parents choosing to make a commitment to home schooling are able to provide a very successful academic environm ent.Note This report was supported with a grant fr om the Home School Legal Defense Association, Purcellville, Virginia. The opinions e xpressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the posit ions or policies of the Home School Legal Defense Association.


30 of 33ReferencesACT, Inc. (1998). The 1998 ACT High School Profile Report--National D ata Iowa City, IA. Available on-line: s/98/98data.html Bruno, Rosaline and Andrea Curry (1997). Current Population Reports. Population Characteristics: School Enrollment--Social and Econ omic Characteristics of Students : October 1995 (update).Available on-line:, Robert; and Others (1992). The Difference in Achievement between Home Schooled and Public Schooled Students for Grades Fo ur, Seven, and Ten in Arkansas. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-So uth Educational Research Association (21st, Knoxville, TN, November 11-13, 1 992). Day, Jennifer and Andrea Curry (1998). Current Population Survey (CPS) for the Nation United States Census Bureau. Available on-line: .html Drahozal, Edward (1997). Validity Information for t he Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED), Fo rms K, L, M. Riverside Publishing Company, working draft.Home School Court Report (Dec. 1990). A Nationwide Study of Home. Available from ERIC Document Reproduction Service ED381725.Hoover, H.D., N. Hieronymous, D.A. Frisbie, S.B. Du nbar (1996). Catholic/Private Norms: ITBS Itasca: IL: Riverside Publishing Company. Lines, Patricia (1998). Home schoolers: Estimating Numbers and Growth. Technical paper.Ray, Brian (1997). Home Education Across the United States. Purcellville, VA: Home School Legal Defense Association. Available on-line : index.stm Riverside Publishing Company (1994). Riverside 2000 Integrated Assessment Program Technical Summary. Chicago: Riverside Publishing Co mpany. Scannell, D.P, O.M. Haugh, B.H. Loyd and C.F. Risin ger (1996). Catholic/Private Norms: TAP. Itasca: IL: Riverside Publishing Company. Snyder, Thomas and John Wirt (1998). The Condition of Education US Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statisti cs. US Census Bureau (1996). Educational Attainment in the United States March 1996 (Update). Available on-line: prod/2/pop/p20/p20-493u.pdf US Census Bureau (1997a). Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1997 Available on-line: ab/labor.pdf US Census Bureau (1997b). Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1997 Available


31 of 33 on-line: ab/educ.pdf US Department of Education (1996). Youth Indicators Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics.US Department of Education (1997). National Assessment of Educational Progress, 1996 National Mathematics Results Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.AcknowledgmentsThis report relied on the creativity and expertise of several individuals. Michael Farris, Esquire, President of the Home School Legal Defense Association conceived the study and secured the cooperation of the author and three contributing organizations Bob Jones University Testing Service, National Computer Systems, and HSLDA. Earl Hall of HSLDA worked out the numerous logistics and deta ils of working, was the primary architect of the background questionnaire, and prov ided responses to my thousand questions regarding home schooling. Janet Abbott of BJU provided information about the testing program and the datasets. BJU staff als o hand coded the student identification numbers to make corresponding backgr ound and achievement information possible. Tom Perry of National Compute r Systems handled the logistics of scanning the background questions. Edward Drahozal, Janet Adair and Vesna Plavsic of Riverside Publishing Customer Support were wonderfu l, knowledgeable resources helping the author understand the ITBS/TAP norming process and data disks. Finally, the author is deeply indebted to H.D. Hoover of the Iowa Testing Program, Gene V Glass of Arizona State University, and Michael Scri ven of Claremont Graduate University for their invaluable comments on drafts of this report and for helping to assure appropriate analytical methodology.About the AuthorLawrence M. RudnerEmail: Dr. Rudner is with the College of Library and Infor mation Services, University of Maryland, College Park. He has been involved in qua ntitative analysis for over 30 years, having served as a university professor, a b ranch chief in the U.S. Department of Education, and a classroom teacher. For the past 12 years, he has been the Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation an information service sponsored by the National Library of Education, U.S Department of Education which acquires and abstracts articles and manuscripts per taining to educational assessment, evaluation, and research; builds and maintains on-l ine databases; publishes articles and books; and provides a wide range of user services. Dr. Rudner holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (1977), an MBA in Finance (1 991), and lifetime teaching certificates from two states. His two children atte nd public school.Copyright 1999 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is


32 of 33 General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0211. (602-965-96 44). The Book Review Editor is Walter E. Shepherd: The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Andrew Coulson Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Richard M. Jaeger University of North Carolina--Greensboro Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas MauhsPugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for HigherEducation William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson Arizona State University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers Ann Leavenworth Centerfor Accelerated Learning Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois--UC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education Robert T. Stout Arizona State University


33 of 33 David D. Williams Brigham Young University EPAA Spanish Language Editorial BoardAssociate Editor for Spanish Language Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Adrin Acosta (Mxico) Universidad de J. Flix Angulo Rasco (Spain) Universidad de Teresa Bracho (Mxico) Centro de Investigacin y DocenciaEconmica-CIDEbracho Alejandro Canales (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma Ursula Casanova (U.S.A.) Arizona State Jos Contreras Domingo Universitat de Barcelona Erwin Epstein (U.S.A.) Loyola University of Josu Gonzlez (U.S.A.) Arizona State Rollin Kent (Mxico)Departamento de Investigacin Educativa-DIE/ Mara Beatriz Luce (Brazil)Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do SulUFRGSlucemb@orion.ufrgs.brJavier Mendoza Rojas (Mxico)Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicojaviermr@servidor.unam.mxMarcela Mollis (Argentina)Universidad de Buenos Humberto Muoz Garca (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicohumberto@servidor.unam.mxAngel Ignacio Prez Gmez (Spain)Universidad de Daniel Schugurensky (Argentina-Canad)OISE/UT, Simon Schwartzman (Brazil)Fundao Instituto Brasileiro e Geografiae Estatstica Jurjo Torres Santom (Spain)Universidad de A Carlos Alberto Torres (U.S.A.)University of California, Los

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