Debate Ensues Over Who Deserves Extra Test Time
A lawsuit is calling into question how colleges determine whether or not students with disabilities should qualify for extra time on tests and, if so, how much.
Diane Metcalf-Leggette who has dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder wanted twice the usual time to take exams for her courses at Princeton University. The school agreed to a number of accommodations — including allowing her to test in a quiet room where she could use her laptop and take short breaks — but under the advice of a neuropsychologist hired by the school they declined Metcalf-Leggette’s request for extra time.
Dissatisfied, Metcalf-Leggette sued Princeton last fall, alleging the school was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And, she hired her own neuropsychologist. After the second doctor evaluated Metcalf-Leggette, the school agreed to give her 50 percent more time on tests compared to other students.
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That wasn’t good enough for Metcalf-Leggette who pressed on with her lawsuit and filed a complaint with the Department of Education. That is, until last week when she dropped the suit after Princeton agreed to give her double time, at least until a task force reviews the school’s procedures for accommodating students.
The case highlights the leeway that colleges have, experts say. While they are bound by federal disability laws, traditionally schools do get discretion over their academic procedures, reports Inside Higher Ed. To read more click here.