Academic journal article Education Next

Unflagged and Unequal

Academic journal article Education Next

Unflagged and Unequal

Article excerpt

When the College Board stopped flagging the SAT scores of students who took the tests with accommodations (most commonly, extended time) in 2004, it instituted a tightened eligibility process to offset the new stigma-free advantage.

In his examination of the 2003 and 2004 SAT I results, both flagged and unflagged ("Unflagged SATs," Features, Summer 2005), Samuel J. Abrams found that the eligibility process became a hidden advantage for students whose parents and schools were more skilled at meeting tightened eligibility requirements--documentation from therapists and psychologists--than families "less savvy and less financially endowed."

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Indeed, the increase in the scores of students with accommodations in the District of Columbia is dramatic, and Abrams attributes the anomaly to the division between extremes of wealth within the District. But he is not quite correct. The extremes are there, but they are within the entire metropolitan area, including the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Many of the students living in these richer areas attend private schools in D. …

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