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IVY's accept Greenwich, Connecticut untimed SAT scores? Why?


Replies to: IVY's accept Greenwich, Connecticut untimed SAT scores? Why?

  • MissSuperFantasticMissSuperFantastic Registered User Posts: 601 Member
    well, obviously the extra time didn't give them that much of an advantage.

    the mean SAT scores at my public highschool are 1250ish.

    in fact, if you are taking honors courses and get in the mid 600s, you are deemed "retarded".

    the only place where i'm ashamed of my 2250...haha.
  • CITATION XCITATION X . Posts: 741 Member
    Anyone that thinks getting an extra 1.5 to 3 hours or maybe longer doesn't matter with for example a student (diagnosed with an inventive "learning disability") who might (w/o special conditions) already be at in the 1400 range - is not dealing with reality. An SAT old scale 1450 and a 1530 can be in some cases be the difference between being accepted at an Ivy League college or not being accepted

    70 to 80 points for the SAT (old scale combined) is one estimation of the difference, and it could be higher for certain students

    see: http://www.hoover.org/publications/ednext/3346301.html

    Ok - if the time doesn't matter - just give everyone an extra 3 hours
  • CITATION XCITATION X . Posts: 741 Member
    "has anyone done studies as to why such a community has so many kids with LD? is it the water, the air, the video games?"

    That is the big mystery, and something very strange must be happening there, however one factor could be that many of the firms doing so-called "Psychoeducational evaluations" -may tend to be located in these affluent areas such as Greenwich or nearby -not that is matters anyways because some of these firms offer "fly-in" in person diagnosis anywhere in the country

    What I cannot fathom is: if it turned out certain kids (with the help of LD status) ended up getting 2400 SAT scores and other (non-LD) kids in the class were scoring in the 2300 or lower range - and these fake LD kids were grabbing the slots in the top colleges - wouldn't someone at these schools blow the whistle?

    Note that apparently a publication called EDUCATION WEEK back in 2001 flagged Greenwich as a problem with 1 out 3 (at that point) designated as Learning Disabled - years before Slate and other spoke of a 1 in 2 rate

    see http://www.connsensebulletin.com/badidea.html
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    I gt that most of the kids diagnosed in this community are really with the LD affliction, but why isn't the community concerned at all at the staggering numbers, why is the school district concerned, the board of education

    I remember on place where all these boys were given meds for ADD and ADHD, an outrageous percentage, WAY above the norm, it was a doctor who was saying that the behaviors weren' t "normal" they were...
  • azsxdcazsxdc Registered User Posts: 832 Member
    life isn't fair. deal with it. then beat the crap out of the cheaters by owning them at life.
  • babarbabar Registered User Posts: 324 Member
    This is just another reason that the College Board is an unreliable indicator of college success. It really is true that the extra time doesn't add all that much of an extra score for most students who get it, and the irony is that now with the test so long anyway, the extra time can actually create a problem since most kids don't have the stamina for a test of this extended length. The issue is that lots of kids who truly need the extra time because they have been given it for documented LD aren't getting it because their schools are flagged for having "too many" LD kids, while other kids are getting the time when they may not have the same level of need. For many individual families who have tried multiple times to persuade the powers that be at the College Board that a particular student truly has valid reasons for needing extended time, it feels like dealing with an insurance agency, fighting to get essential care that is being denied. Tenacity and time and a lot of documentation which can cost a lot of money can sometimes achieve desired results - and the privledged are in a better position to have that time and money. But generalizations are not useful. Any child, regardless of socioeconomic class, may or may not have real needs, but the College Board is way too big and bureaucratic to be able to make accurate assessments.
  • CITATION XCITATION X . Posts: 741 Member
    A world without SATs sounds good in theory - but it would be a disaster for colleges as they would be unable to distinguish excellent students from average students - as high school grades/rank/recommendations etc - can tell very little about certain students

    As for Greenwich - the number seem too high to be real: however I see Wayland, MA - another very wealthy community somehow having (amazingly enough) 12% of its students LD designated for the SAT, which is way too high also. Certainly the SAT is being LD gamed big time in certain locales


    More time for SATs a concern
    By Ron DePasquale, Globe Correspondent | June 1, 2006

    A Wayland High School guidance counselor has questioned the unusually high number of suburban students who receive extra time on the SAT college entrance exam because they have a learning disability, warning that some may not be truly disabled.

    `Like everything else in life, the rich have access to things that others don't, and kids with subtle learning issues can afford to pay a psychologist to call it a disability" and gain an edge on the test, said Norma Greenberg, guidance director at Wayland High School. ``There are a hell of a lot more doing this now."

    Statewide, about 5 percent of students are granted accommodations (usually extra time) on the test, more than twice the national average of about 2 percent.

    In Wayland, 12 percent of students get accommodations, said Greenberg, who injected herself into a national debate over the issue when she was quoted on network TV earlier this spring.

    Brian O'Reilly, spokesman for the College Board, which administers the SATs, said he saw nothing nefarious in the fact that the number of students receiving accomodations nationally has nearly doubled since 1995.

    ``Many years ago, students with disabilities were not considered eligible for college," O'Reilly said. ``Fortunately, that's changed a great deal, and there are many more students with disabilities taking the SAT."

    O'Reilly said more suburban students are classified as disabled than urban students because suburban schools are simply better equipped to spot and assist them.

    Greenberg, however, said that wealthy students who simply aren't great at the SAT are turning a simple weakness into a learning disability.

    ``In the old days, you could tell students they were not good test takers, and they were OK with that," she said. ``Some people can't shoot a basketball -- that doesn't mean you're disabled. With learning, it's the same thing, everyone has strengths and weaknesses."

    Parents who want to boost their children's scores refuse to accept that their child simply has a weakness, Greenberg said.

    In most cases, a team of school officials that usually includes a guidance counselor and a school psychologist first evaluates disability evaluations before sending them on to the College Board, which then must approve them, O'Reilly said. Some students, usually from private schools, apply directly to the College Board for extra time.

    O'Reilly said the number of students receiving extra time leveled off about five years ago. In the fall of 2003, the College Board discontinued its practice of flagging a student's scores when they had been given extra time. There hasn't been a significant jump in disability determinations since then.

    Thom Hughart , Wellesley High School guidance director, said he was concerned, too, about students seeking an unfair advantage on the test.

    Wellesley students can expect a strict evaluation of disability before it even goes to the College Board, Hughart said. Students only interested in receiving extra time on the SAT and not in other forms of assistance are treated suspiciously, he said.

    ``I've got one or two I'm now looking at that I'm probably not going to grant," Hughart said. ``Students can't just say they get distracted and nervous and they need extra time."

    Harvard graduate student Sam Abrams , who is studying how the issue plays out in the Washington, D.C. , area, said the situation is ``an absolute disaster."

    ``Students of high status with money, who are white and attend ing private schools or elite suburban high schools , are the ones who take advantage of the relative ease to gain disability qualifications and extended time on the SAT," he said.

    Some college admissions officials, however, downplayed the SAT's importance and said they didn't fear widespread abuse.

    ``I've heard the same rumor and innuendo for years, and I'm very skeptical," said John Mahoney , director of undergraduate admission at Boston College.

    Mahoney called the disparity between the number of suburban and urban disabled students a concern but said he saw progress overall.

    ``When I first stepped into a classroom 25 years ago, if a kid said he had a learning disability, you didn't even know what he was talking about," said Mahoney, who once taught at St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers. ``There's so much more awareness now."

    Wendy Byrnes , a family advocate with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, based in Berkeley, Calif., said she thinks that most students receiving extra time are genuinely disabled.

    ``This is a necessary process that allows them to participate like other students," Byrnes said.

    This coming weekend are the final SAT tests for the season.

    Greenberg and some other critics have a suggestion they believe would restore fairness: Give all students as much time as they need to finish the test.

    ``The MCAS is not timed, so why shouldn't the highest-stakes test for kids be the same?" said Wayland's Greenberg. ``It would make such a huge difference for so many. Just the knowledge of having as much time as you need would help kids relax a bit."
  • AnonyMomAnonyMom Registered User Posts: 333 Member
    I must say I am mystified by the Greenwich statistics cited here. If you'll scroll down to the CC LD board, you'll find a number of families with students with serious, legitimate LD's that have been properly diagnosed and then accomodated in their public and private schools for years, who are nevertheless being turned down for accomodations by ETS and ACT. Some receive appropriate accomodations and others don't in a process that sounds, in some respects, random. I would be very interested in knowing more about the internal, decision-making processes of the ETS and ACT in granting and denying accomodations, and whether they believe that they are, in fact, bound to comply with the standards of the Americans With Disabilites Act, or with LD students' IEP or 504 plans. The notion that some vast number of suburban rich kids somehow got shady testing firms to dummy up their psych and neuro-psych testing to the point that their schools and ETS/ACT bought it just doesn't seem plausible -- so what is going on, and why are so many legitimately LD (and I don't mean what Citation is calling some "inventive" LD that suddenly pops up, say, 45 minutes before the deadline to apply for SAT accomodation) students being denied?
  • IsleBoyIsleBoy Registered User Posts: 2,681 Senior Member
    Colleges can go without the SAT. Bowdoin, Bates, etc...have been doing so for decades. Mt. Holyoke, College of the Holy Cross, Dickinson, Lewis & Clark, Knox, Wheaton (MA), Franklin & Marshall, Lawrence University, and Pitzer are just a few others who have made test scores optional.

    The SATs are one of the last ways that those in power can hold on it for a little bit longer...good luck with that.

    Check out the link for Mt. Holyoke:
  • CITATION XCITATION X . Posts: 741 Member
    "so what is going on"

    That is the precise issue

    Something is seriously amiss when Wayland, MA (as one example) apparently has 1 in 8 of its students taking the SAT getting somewhere between 1.5 to 3hours extra time on the SAT. That level of additional time would certainly be a major factor in artificially boosting scores

    It is not believable that Wayland would have that many with "learning disabilities" sufficient or of the type to qualify for special testing conditions. Clearly some kind of gaming is going on here. My guess is that they are claiming vast numbers of kids (with often newly discovered) ADD/HD (clearly one of the biggest fads currently in the United States) - and claiming that this requires in effect a test with extra time or unlimited time.

    Yes, some kids do have legitimate ADD/HD and yes and some kids might be soon be claiming the newly designated IED, intermittent explosive disorder, the one being blamed for road rage. Clearly the SAT test especially with restricted time constraints would be enough to make any kid diagnosed with IED very angry, and they of course would need extra time

    Has SRD or slow reading disability been listed yet? Or it that one still under discussion? I guess 1/2 the planet might meet that proposed "disease."

    I know the "SAT is irrelevant and should be dropped" crowd loves this, however they in fact have no good substitute for the SAT, except for some absurd claims about teachers on an ongoing basis seletively feeding student work to certain colleges - to prove the capabilities of specified students. That REALLY sounds like a successful substitute for an SAT test

    I am very familiar with Wayland as a town, It's one of the premium communities in terms of weath in Massaschusetts, with only perhaps Weston, Lincoln, or maybe Dover and a few other communities exceeding it, and I bet if you look hard enough you will find similar nearby towns also shopping around for "psychoeducational evaluations" - although I doubt they've hit the 12% level

    Soon the SAT will in fact become meaningless if these trends continue
  • Shark_biteShark_bite Registered User Posts: 1,561 Senior Member
    Slate isn't a parody site.
  • MurasakiMurasaki Registered User Posts: 2,146 Senior Member
    If colleges really do start looking at scores skeptically, then it really disadvantages students that did well based on their own sweat. Especially if such a small percentage of students are the ones causing doubt.
  • CITATION XCITATION X . Posts: 741 Member
    The College Board at minimum needs first to fully disclose how many "learning disabled (and test time adjusted) students have actually scored over 1500 (old scale) and 2250 (new scale) - as this is a critical demarcation line for non-URM admits to elite universities and colleges in the United States

    I suspect they will not reveal this information
  • CITATION XCITATION X . Posts: 741 Member
    Interesting charts - looks like about a approx 240 point difference (on a 2400 scale) in DC where about 6% of the students have special conditions vs little difference in Texas where only 1% of the kids are classified as needing special test conditions, 40 points or so advantages in CA and MD with 1% and 3% respectively of students special-condition qualified

    In theory the LD test taker mix (for example in DC) could be higher scoring students even w/o the special conditions - so its hard to interpret - however given the higher percent numbers - it could be LD gaming going on

    CollegeBoard needs to disclose complete breakdown chart for varying ranges and percentages of scores for LD special conditions test takers -and particularly 2250 and above scores and numbers of students - however don't hold your breath

    This would shed light and give a possible answer on the gaming issue -which in fact some experts have said is in fact going on in certain communities

    Note on the collegeboard site some of the tests they accept to diagnose LD

    (begin quote)

    Any one of the following to measure a student's academic skills in timed testing settings:
    Nelson Denny Reading Test with normal time and extra time measures
    Gray Oral Reading Test IV (GORT IV)
    Gray Oral Silent Reading Test (GRST)
    Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test (SDRT)
    Stanford Diagnostic Math Test (SDMT)
    Woodcock-Johnson III Fluency Measures
    When the above timed achievement tests are administered under standardized conditions, and when the results are interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information, they provide useful diagnostic information regarding testing accommodations such as extended testing time. A low processing speed score alone, however, usually does not indicate the need for testing accommodations. In this instance, what would be important is to include in the documentation how the low processing speed impacts your overall academic skills under timed conditions.

    (end quotes)

    It would not be hard for a smart kid to know exactly how to "handle" these tests which were setup to pickup "learning disabilities

    consider the following paragraphs from the same site:

    (begin quote)
    Any one of the following to measure a student's information processing:
    Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-3 (DTLA-3) or DTLA-A (Adult)
    WJ-III - Tests of Cognitive Ability
    Depending on your disabling conditions, other measures such as personality tests, ADHD rating scales, speech and language testing, occupational therapy evaluations, etc. may be indicated.

    What is a good format for documenting my disability diagnosis and functional limitations should the College Board ask to review my supporting documentation?
    Formats vary; however, most effective are those that summarize and clearly discuss, in a summary report/individual plan/program: 1) your specific diagnosis and rationale for the diagnosis supported by the diagnostic battery; 2) the historical information including patterns in your background that reflect the presence of a disability; 3) when appropriate, evidence that alternative explanations are ruled out (e.g., environmental stressors; motivation; personality issues); 4) evidence of the current substantial functional limitations resulting from the disability, especially as impacting academic progress in the classroom; and 5) actual score summaries of standard or scaled scores and percentiles for all sub tests, index, and cluster scores of the cognitive and achievement tests are appended.

    How current should the diagnosis, functional limitations, and supporting documentation be?
    Since reasonable accommodations are based on the present impact of the disability, current documentation is important, preferably within the last 5 years. The College Board will accept cognitive testing that is more than 5 years old if there is a long-standing disability and complete cognitive testing was administered when the disabling condition was first diagnosed.

    (end quote)

    BOTTOM LINE - recent data not only welcome - its considered better

    This system is clearly ripe for those seeking 2350 plus results, for example kids that might w/o the extra 3 hours -might be scoring in the 2200 range and would certainly know what to do on these battery of tests

    Note that tests testing for extroverted/salestype personalities often given by certain corporations - can easily be steered a certain way - at least by those having any introspective and analytical ability skills
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