YUP! It all started in 2003, when these companies, the SAT (the College Board) and the ACT decided to no longer let readers know that a test was given in a nonstandard way to a student who had an accommodation for that nonstandarized testing. See my article at the time, disabling the SAT, http://educationnext.org/disablingthesat/

The rush to get accommodations (especially for more time) started then and has continued to grow and expand– especially among those who can play the game of getting a diagnosis, make a demand for an accommodation, etc., etc.

The current system is a mess. For starters, these tests are now invalid because they are no longer standardized (what are they then, exactly?). They don’t provide honest and comparable data. They are also unfair to all students, unequal among students, and do leave some folks with a troubling sense of immoral advantage.

It’s a mess. For starters, I urge these powerful companies to clean up their process to make these tests valid again. Joanne’s piece cites the proposal I’ve made for that.

Thank you for airing this very important issue.

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, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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