Manhattan private-school students resent the high number of classmates who get extra time on tests because they’ve been classified with a learning disability, reports the New York Sun. The story quotes a girl who says half the students taking the SAT at her private school received extra time. Half of her classmates with extra time are admitted to Ivy League colleges, she says.
The practice of giving students with learning disabilities more time to take their tests has become so common at top private schools in New York City and across the country that students say it carries nearly no stigma. For everything from the SAT to weekly math quizzes, they say, a growing number of students will get as much as double the standard time allotment, and no one pays much attention.
Disability rights activists describe the trend as an important victory for students with difficulties such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, but a small number of students are waging a battle against the accommodations, a struggle that could intensify when the SAT season begins again this fall.
Another student says 25 percent of his private-school classmates get extended time.
Parents spend thousands of dollars to have their high school students tested for attention deficit disorder and similar problems. Apparently, “test anxiety” isn’t good enough.
It’s not clear what percentage of private-school students are diagnosed with dubious disabilities to boost their grades or SAT scores, but it’s more common for affluent students to get extra time for disabilities than lower-income students.
Another story passes on “authenticity” advice from an admissions consultant: Make a small error on your application so it won’t look like it’s been packaged by an admissions consultant.