The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States and is one of the best predictors of how well students will do in college, according to the College Board. The term “standardized” indicates that something is on the same level or equal for everyone. Not only is allowing students with learning disabilities extra time on the SATs unfair to the other students, it is unfair to the students with disabilities too.
In a society obsessed with equal opportunities and political correctness, the fact is that giving learning disabled students more time to complete the SATs is doing them a disservice. It teaches them that they are different from all the other students and that those differences will give them an advantage in life. That is simply not the case and is a dangerous belief for those students to have.
Not everything in life is ideal, which is unfortunate, but also reality. Setting a precedent like this creates a jaded self-image of the abilities of that student. That student is taught there are a different set of rules for him or her. Maybe that person won’t work as hard as he or she can, knowing they can use their disability as a crutch when deadlines aren’t met or when failing to produce at work. Allowing disabled students extra time to complete the SATs could have long-lasting ramifications.
Students with learning disabilities may have to work harder than most or put in more hours studying or working on a project than others would. These are important values for learning disabled students to have, especially when entering the work environment. Nothing in life is easy, and for some, it is more difficult than others. That does not mean they should receive special treatment. It should be motivation to work harder and prove to themselves, and everyone else, they can accomplish just as much as anybody else can on their own.
Not all students test well and is a good reason why allowing extra time for disabled students is unfair to the rest. The argument can be made that anxiety and fear over taking tests is a disability. Those students are not allowed to write essays instead of taking the test. The test is not doctored to meet their specific needs. It’s standardized, the same for everyone.
All students are taught that hard work and perseverance pay off in the end and are the only way to reach their goals. Allowing disabled students extra time to complete the SATs debunks this notion for those who don’t get extra time. It shows them that working hard does not always pay off. Where is the motivation for a student to work hard and study for the SATs when the last spot in their dream school is taken by someone who may not be as qualified but was given more time to complete the test?
Although life is not fair, it should not be so out of design. There is no shame in giving something your all and failing. It is not fair, but at least there is solace in knowing that you did everything within your power to achieve your goal and simply came up short. You don’t have to live with the knowledge that you were slighted because someone else was given an unfair advantage. Losing on an even playing field is one thing, but losing when the odds are unfairly stacked against you is something different.
In a world where people protest, suffer persecution and start wars to achieve equality, practices like this teach our youth early on that equality is only for those without the advantages in life.