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MathCounts changes Eligibility Rules for Homeschoolers

August13

I talked to Chris Bright, Program manager for MathCounts Foundation about why the board changed the rules for homeschoolers. It only took a few “bad apples” to ruin it for those who had in the past created “fair” teams.

Hi Ann,

It was nice speaking with you this afternoon. As promised, I wanted to share some insight regarding the reasons for making the eligibility rule modification. While it is true that homeschool students will no longer be permitted to combine with other homeschool students to form a team, every homeschool participant will still be eligible to register, compete and advance to the State and National Competitions as an individual competitor, as they have for several years now.

There were several factors that influenced our Board’s decision to modify the eligibility rule. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult for both the MATHCOUNTS national office and the several hundred volunteers who coordinate the competitions at the local and state levels to monitor whether the registered homeschools in their chapters and states did indeed meet the eligibility requirements of the national program. The frequency in which enrichment programs and tutoring centers (which are not eligible to participate) have tried to circumvent the eligibility requirements by registering as homeschool teams has increased significantly over the past few years. In addition, the homeschool requirements of the past did, unfortunately, allow some homeschool groups to take advantage of the policy and create “super teams” by drawing on students from chapters outside of their own. Unfortunately, this was an advantage that was not afforded to your typical brick-and-mortar school and created an unfair situation.

Taking these factors into consideration and recognizing that homeschools account for between 1%-2% of all registered schools in the program, it was decided that modifying the rules to only allow homeschoolers to participate as individuals was the best solution to create a fair and balanced program for all 6000 participating schools and nearly 40,000 participating students.

MATHCOUNTS values our homeschool participation and will continue to give homeschool students every opportunity to be involved in and succeed in the program. Although homeschool participants will no longer have the opportunity to participate in the team component of the competition, we hope they will still find a great deal of value and benefit from competing in the individual components, as do the 40% of registered students nationwide who compete strictly as individuals.

We appreciate your support of the program and I hope you understand the reasoning behind this decision. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Chris Bright
Program Manager
MATHCOUNTS Foundation
Phone: 703-299-9006 x 104
Fax: 703-299-5009
chris@mathcounts.org

Official Explanation for MathCounts Altered Rules for Homeschool Teams

Homeschool Mathcounts Discussion Group

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