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IN 1999, AFTER TAKING THE GRADUATE MANAGEMENT Admission Test (GMAT), the standardized exam required of applicants to business schools, Mark Breimhorst sued the test's maker, the powerful Educational Testing Service (ETS). Breimhorst was born without hands and thus had been given more time to complete the admissions exam. His lawsuit contested ETS's practice of informing schools when students take one of its tests under specialized conditions, effectively placing an asterisk or, in testing parlance, a "flag" next to their scores. For unexplained reasons, instead of weathering a trial, ETS settled the case and agreed to stop flagging GMAT scores. This had far-reaching implications, since ETS runs several other major testing programs, including the oracle of college admissions, the SAT. As part of the settlement, Disability Rights Advocates, the civil-rights organization that had represented Breimhorst, and the College Board, the consortium of colleges that owns the SAT, agreed to jointly appoint a panel of "experts" to study whether scores on the SAT should continue to be flagged when students take the test with extended time. Disability Rights Advocates argued that the flagging of SAT scores violated the rights of students with disabilities by identifying them as disabled, stigmatizing them, and leading many to avoid using accommodations to which they are entitled. Accommodations like extended time, they believe, are necessary to equalize the testing experience for disabled and nondisabled students and thus make the scores of disabled students more valid. In 2002, to avert further litigation, the College Board acted on the expert panel's recommendation to end the practice of flagging scores. (Two weeks later, the other major college-admissions testing program, the ACT, adopted the same policy.) As of October 1, 2003, the Board will no longer note "Nonstandard Administration" on the scores of any students who take the SAT with extended time.

Professionnel et technique
22 septembre
Hoover Institution Press

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