Thank you, Luke Egan for bringing this issue to the fore– again–and thank you, a loyal reader of my work, for bringing it to my attention.

The opening paragraph is terrific, as it raises the issue by students for students.

“The most polarizing issue in my high school’s community didn’t relate to religion or politics. It was the issue of extra time. Extra time, which is often given for in-class assignment and standardized tests, typically offers students who qualify 1.5 to double the amount of time to complete an assessment as peers who don’t qualify. While extra time may be given for a host of reasons, it is usually given when a student is diagnosed with a processing difference such as ADHD, dysgraphia, and dyslexia. The problem, however, is when families take advantage of this accommodation for students who don’t actually need it.”

Read on! I’m glad to see a student raising this issue. Apparently it’s been a hot one at his posh private school. As well it should be. At his school, 18% of students had extended time! He cites other private schools where that percentage is up to 46%. Really? What are we doing? Whatever happened to the standardized SAT?

My loyal readers will know that, as unfair and outrageous as these percentages are, I have not focused on that issue. My concern with these extended time allowances THAT NO ONE IS NOTIFIED ABOUT has always focused on the test, not the student. Or as I write, the WHAT before the WHO.

Giving extended time (without providing any notice of this fact to colleges, parents, schools) means that these tests are NO LONGER STANDARDIZED. It’s time to finally be honest about that! And since that’s the case, why are we still using these tests (SAT and ACT) and paying so much for them? Why?

A standardized test is one that is given to all students under standard conditions. Whither that basic fundamental requirement?

Read on. Let’s hope we hear from more students, parents, and teachers.

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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