Home-Schoolers Rip Policy College Admissions Attacked

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Home-schooled children say they are being unfairly

locked out of the state's public universities, and they showed

yesterday that they are gaining political allies.

Parents from across the state brought hundreds of

home-schoolers to the Capitol to let lawmakers know a little

about their rapidly growing movement and to persuade legislators

to pass a bill putting them on equal footing with other Georgia

students.

One of the main targets is a University System Board of Regents

policy adopted last year mandating homeschoolers pass a series

of Scholastic Assessment Test II subject-area exams to be

considered for admission to a state college or university.

A Home Education Information Research analysis of 1996 Georgia

SAT II subject-area exam takers showed only 39 percent passed

all the sections required by the Board of Regents policy.

High school senior Justin Neal told a crowd at a Capitol rally

yesterday that he scored 1530 on the regular SAT out of a

possible 1600 but couldn't attend the University of Georgia or

Georgia Tech because he didn't take the SAT II subjectarea

tests.

He has received scholarship offers from out-of-state

institutions, but said, "Georgia says `no,' you're not good

enough.' "

The Board of Regents adopted the rules last year so they would

have a uniform policy for admitting home-schooled students.

Before the policy was set, individual schools used their own

criteria to admit home-schooled children.

Home-school associations immediately complained about the new

policy, and have threatened to sue the state, arguing that

barriers are being put up to keep their students out.

Public and private school students don't need to take SAT II

tests to gain admission to University System colleges.

However, Arlethia PerryJohnson of the Board of Regents said

state officials approved the policy in an attempt to carve out

an equitable means of comparing school students and the

home-schooled.

The board has called for dramatic reductions in the number of

students entering the system who have graduated high school

without a college-prep diploma. …