Abuse of ‘extended time’ on SAT and ACT outrages learning disability community

Mar 29, 2019 by

For Noah Coates, the SAT and ACT were grueling, multiday marathons. The Baltimore County student took each exam in a private room, with twice the normal time, because he has dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. As he recalled, he still couldn’t finish.

But he secured his goal: scores that got him into Stevenson University in Maryland, where the 21-year-old plans to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in computer system development.

But after revelations this month about cheating and bribery in college admissions, Coates fears a blowback that could curtail accommodations for students with special needs on high-stakes exams.

“I was disappointed to see that someone was trying to exploit something that was made to help other people who need it,” Coates said. He likened the alleged testing cheats to drivers who claim disability parking spots without permits. “It’s frustrating and annoying. Just because it’s open, doesn’t mean you should take it.”

The federal investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues uncovered elaborate plots to get children of rich parents into prominent schools such as Georgetown, Yale and Stanford universities and the University of Southern California.

One tactic involved bribing coaches to designate applicants as recruited athletes even though they possessed little or no intercollegiate sports potential. Then there was the part of the alleged scheme that troubles students who need extra time on college admissions exams: Special accommodations on the ACT and SAT were illegitimately secured to provide cover for cheating at compromised testing sites in Houston and West Hollywood.

Source: Abuse of ‘extended time’ on SAT and ACT outrages learning disability community – The Washington Post

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