The Atlantic

The Time Crunch on Standardized Tests Is Unnecessary

The allegedly fraudster parents in the cheating scandal exploited extra-time accommodations. Could slowing down tests for everyone make them fairer?
Source: Joe Raedle / Getty

Operation Varsity Blues was full of salacious accusations detailing how wealthy parents allegedly cheated to get their kids into elite schools through hefty bribes and outright lies. But one particular deceit orchestrated by William Singer, the college-consultant fixer at the center of the scam, drew the ire of the disabilities-rights community: the abuse of extended-time accommodations on standardized tests. “All the wealthy families that figured out that if I get my kid tested and they get extended time, they can do better on the test,” he allegedly told one parent. “So most of these kids don’t even have issues, but they’re getting time.”

Time extension is just one of several accommodations that students can apply for when registering for standardized tests—including the , the , the , and the —as mandated by the Americans

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