I just administered the ITBS test to two homeschooled third-graders today. They were quite intelligent children who worked speedily and finished the whole test easily by early afternoon even with breaks.
I'm never sure what to say to homeschoolers who voice complaints about the requirement to have their children tested or evaluated every other year here in Colorado. It's really not that big a deal. The tests cost $29 each plus postage to return them. And I like the information I receive about my children's strengths and weaknesses.
Perhaps it takes a naivete I no longer possess to hold the opinion that parents will always do what's best for their children. People--including parents and teachers--vary widely in their abilities and knowledge. And, like it's written under the shark picture in the sidebar, ignorance is no protection. Loving, diligent parents might be misteaching their children inadvertently. Testing and evaluation are there to to protect children, not to exert state control. When adequate education is occurring, the state leaves us alone; when adequate education is not occurring, surely we want that discovered and addressed. Children need a minimum level of protection from educational neglect. (Some of these arguments apply to the people who hate any form of testing in regular schools, by the way.)
(Did you already guess that I'm not a social libertarian?)