Here’s the Wall Street Journal article,

I was struck by the article’s last two words, discussing the ACT’s usefulness because it allows comparisons of students on a “common metric.” We assume the metric is “common.” The same for all students. It’s a belief, but is it still real? As my loyal readers know, I have my growing doubts about this.

Now that more students take the ACT and the SAT with non-standard accommodations, including the prized extended time, are they still a “common metric?” Really? See Douglas Belkin’s Wall Street Journal piece, “Colleges Bend the Rules for More Students, Give them Extra Help. “

It’s more than time to question the assumption that the SAT and ACT are still a common metric. What do we mean by a “common” metric? When students take the test in different non-standard ways, what does the score mean? What is actuall y measured? What is common? Are these tests still valid in measuring what they purport to measure? Why are they timed?

It’s time for an honest discussion to regain trust in the system.I was struck by the article’s last two words: that the ACT is useful because it allows comparisons of students on a “common metric.” This is a popular assumption. It’s a belief, but is it still real?

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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