Friday 21 May 2010

Extra time

Inside Higher Ed notes increasing worries about extra time allocation in exams for students with learning disabilities.
This time the battleground was Princeton University, where first-year student Diane E. Metcalf-Leggette sued the university last fall, charging that it stood in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act by declining to give her twice as much time as most other students to complete exams -- Metcalf-Leggette has been diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Metcalf-Leggette, who had lobbied for double the standard test-taking time allocated to non-disabled students (plus 10-minute breaks every hour), hired her own neuropsychologist to conduct an independent evaluation. Based on the second opinion, Princeton agreed to let Metcalf-Leggette take 50 percent more time on exams than most of her peers. But Metcalf Leggette insisted that anything less than twice the standard allocation would be inadequate, and declined to withdraw the lawsuit.
I'd favour moving to a system allowing students with such disabilities as much extra consideration as they'd like, conditional on all such assistance being reported fully on the student's transcript. An employer ought to know that it may take a potential employee twice as long as another potential employee to complete the same task.

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