Home-schoolers beat national average on ACT

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PURCELLVILLE, Va. — Homeschoolers taking the 2009 ACT, a standardized test assessing high school achievement for college admission, scored a full point higher than the national average.

Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said homeschoolers averaged 22.5 on a scale of 36, where the national average was 21.1.

"This is a remarkable achievement and shows that homeschool parents are successfully preparing their children for college," Smith said in a news release.

The 2009 test drew 11,535 homeschoolers from among the 1.48 million students taking the exam overall, or just under 1 percent of the total.

Like the SAT, higher scores on the ACT are considered a valuable tool in indicating "greater likelihood of success in college." Success on the ACT test also reveals that the courses taken by high school students to prepare for college have been effective, the association reported.

The new ACT results, Smith said, also support the numerous studies that show that homeschoolers are outperforming their public school peers in elementary and secondary education. The latest study from the National Home Education Research Institute shows that the average homeschooler scores 37 percentile points higher on standardized achievement tests than the average public-schooled student.

Homeschool advocates have long argued that the one-on-one instruction provided by dedicated parents is a more effective way to educate children. It's also much cheaper.

The average public school spends $10,000 per child per year whereas the average homeschooler spends $500 per child per year. Interest in homeschooling is also growing rapidly. The National Center for Education Statistics, part of the federal Department of Education, estimates that homeschooling is growing at a pace of 7 percent annually.

To find out more visit www.hslda.org.

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