Check it out. Very sad for our colleges and standards, as I see it. But not surprising for those of us who have watched the troubling and unfortunately, predictable dive from standards, starting in 2003 when the SAT and ACT stopped “flagging” tests given with nonstandard accommdations. See my piece at the time,

What are we doing as a nation? Whither standards?

As we all know, we have standardized tests because they allow us to evaluate and compare students with one measure, whether students are from cities or rural areas, public or private schools, the USA or other countries.

BUT, if the SAT and ACT are no longer standardized, then what are we paying all this money for? What’s the point? Who are the winners and losers here? I believe our country loses when standards are no longer standard. We lose faith in our colleges. Trust is killed. It’s not a good path forward.

My concern is with these mega testing companies, the SAT and ACT, that went off track 15 years ago and led us astray, not so much with students or parents who take advantage of that open back door. These testing companies need to fix this! NOW!

There are many options for fixing this. Perhaps the SAT and ACT can bring back the notification to readers (colleges, students, parents, taxpayers) when a test is taken under nonstandard conditions, either because a student has a disability or because a student chooses to take the test that way–disabled or not. Or they can stop timing the tests for everyone. BTW–why are these tests timed? Is it just administrative convenience? Test proctors need to be paid more?

What a sad mess they have created for our country. I’m sure there are other fixes. Your thoughts? They need to fix these tests NOW!

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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