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Old 11-08-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/ed...trategy-t.html

Quote:
Students with learning disabilities or A.D.H.D. now make up the bulk of disabled students seeking special accommodations, though they are a small percentage of all takers of the ACT (nearly 4 percent) and SAT (about 2 percent).
I understand if one is blind or deaf. But if you have a learning problem it seems to me you'll have to solve that problem facing the same criteria everyone else does. Would anyone want to hire a doctor who needed "special accommodations" to fix your medical problems? How about a lawyer who took far longer than average to compose an argument?

FYI, I don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other but I thought it was an interesting topic for debate and a fascinating article.

Last edited by Eleanora1; 11-08-2010 at 09:05 PM..
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:47 PM
 
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Of course. And I'm sure a debate will follow .

My middle son was one who benefitted from additional time to take the ACT. He has had an IEP in place since 3rd grade, and has always had difficulty processing what he reads. He took the PSAT without accommodations (because it was given during class and he was just using it as a benchmark) and did just horribly.

He took advantage of the extra time accommodation when he sat for the ACT, and scored in the middle range, well enough to get into both colleges he applied to. It was easy for the school to make a room available for those qualifying for extended time, and as they finished they were free to go. He certainly didn't use the extra 100-125 minutes the article states, I think it was closer to 45 minutes.

On important thing to note is that being separated for tests isn't always easier on the student. Whereas a normal classroom is quiet during testing, a special accommodations room may have a lot more distractions. For example, ADD and ADHD students are given breaks to move around, and that would make it tougher for my son to concentrate.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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NO NO NO they should NOT be given extra time. Why should normal students have to compete for spots in their preferred colleges with idiots who've been told all their lives that they are special, and catered to. When reality is that they won't be able to hack it in the no BS realm of real college classes and will give up or fail out anyhow.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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If they have a real learning disability, then yes, of course. But a lot of people abuse it and will do anything to get a label so they can get time and a half or double time. At the same time, just cause some abuse it doesn't mean it should be taken away from the people who really need it.

On another note, I don't think blind or deaf students always need extra time. I think you only need extra time if you require a reader/scribe or an interpreter, or if you're reading print with high magnification, because those things actually take more time. But there's no reason a deaf student whose first language is English and is taking a written test needs extra time, or a blind student who is a proficient braille reader and has their test in braille format needs extra time.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
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If you make exceptions, then it is no longer a standardized test is it?
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
If you make exceptions, then it is no longer a standardized test is it?
That's right. Standardized means standardized. Once you start allowing some students extra time and help on the tests for this reason and others get more time and extra help for that reason, pretty soon you no longer have a standardized test.

And what the schools do is start placing many more kids into the learning disabled group to improve the overall scores for the school.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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I don't think they should be given extra time. They just have to learn how to work the problems in a way that work for him/her. Think of how Jim Abbot got by with his disabilities.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleanora1 View Post
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/ed...trategy-t.html



I understand if one is blind or deaf. But if you have a learning problem it seems to me you'll have to solve that problem facing the same criteria everyone else does. Would anyone want to hire a doctor who needed "special accommodations" to fix your medical problems? How about a lawyer who took far longer than average to compose an argument?

FYI, I don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other but I thought it was an interesting topic for debate and a fascinating article.
I think that students who are applying to college should meet the same admissions criteria as anyone else. If a student requires a physical accommodation that makes taking the test actually take longer (say a blind student) then sure, that student should have more time to take the test. However, if a child is ADHD he should not have more time to take the test.

Lots of kids would benefit from a small, quiet room, more time, and breaks from sitting still. Yet they will be required to take the test the same way as anyone else. I know my middle son does not do well when he has to sit still for long periods of time. He tends to get restless and his mind wanders. He would certainly get a higher score if he were allowed breaks whenever he wanted them. Kids with ADHD need to learn how to accommodate themselves and stop having the world accommodate them.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:42 AM
 
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Given that half the kids today are doped up on Ritalin for no reason...ummm, no. College is not going to accomodate, the tests to get into college shouldn't either. Time to start learning how to be a grown up, the real world won't cater to you either.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:52 AM
 
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My children didn't require extra time for testing (testing was one of their strongest talents), but I'm surprised by the responses in this thread. Why shouldn't accomodations be made for such a small group of students? The article quoted states that only 2%-4% take additional time. Why shouldn't they be allowed to have the same opportunities merely because my children don't have test anxiety and are naturally gifted at taking tests?

My children have friends with ADD/ADHD and they are very bright, creative people. They certainly have something to offer society. This mindset that they are unfairly given an advantage is just crazy. It's not like they are snagging spots at Harvard from your children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleanora1 View Post
Would anyone want to hire a doctor who needed "special accommodations" to fix your medical problems?
I most certainly would! I know an orthopedic surgeon who has ADD. He's probably one of the best orthopedic surgeons. Testing is no indication of performance. A person with ADD can overly focus on a task at hand---more so than the average population.

Come on people. Beethoven had ADD. Edison's mother took him out of school because teachers thought he was retarded! There are plent of people throughout history who didn't meet your criteria of STANDARD but they made exceptional contributions to society. I'd rather George Washington and Albert Einstein snagged the best universities with accomodations than your children.

The reality is that extremely brilliant minds usually come with a disability of some sort because their brilliance is due to some freak of nature. Our STADARD children are just standard. And it makes people sound petty to accuse others of having an unfair advantage--especially when it's such a small segment of the population taking the accomodation.

If you REALLY think your child didn't get into the best college because 2% had extra time to take the SAT, I suggest you reevaluate your opinion that your child is so special. 98% took the SAT without accomodations, and your child still didn't beat them for a spot in a top school. Think about that before you get up on your soap box to scream unfairness. It just makes you sound petty and bitter.
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