Posts Tagged ‘testing’

Schools roundup

  • “Background Checks for School Volunteers: Helpful or The Opposite?” [Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids] And Kennedy interviews anti-helicopter mom Skenazy at Reason.tv;
  • NAACP asks Department of Education to strike down entrance exam used by NYC for selective high schools [Roger Clegg, NRO]
  • Even as feds restrict school lunch calories, they pump up new breakfast program. Both ways their power grows [James Bovard/USA Today, Ira Stoll] And here comes an expanded federal program of afterschool, weekend and holiday meals, relieving parents even further of responsibility [FRAC]
  • If fiscal stringency is destroying U. Calif., you’d never guess from the diversity end of it [Heather Mac Donald, City Journal] Ilya Shapiro op-ed on Fisher v. University of Texas [Jurist, background] Why not let universities run themselves? [Richard Epstein]
  • NYC: “Interesting that this all happened at the High School for *Legal Studies*.” [Ann Althouse]
  • Bill vetoed by California Gov. Brown would require state university professors seeking tenure to engage in “service.” Research, teaching don’t count? [John Leo, Minding the Campus; history]
  • After Tucson’s ethnic “solidarity” curriculum [New York Times via @NealMcCluskey]

“DOJ Intervenes In LSAT Disability Bias Class Action, Says ‘Flagging’ of Tests Violates ADA”

The U.S. Department of Justice is taking the position that it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act for the Law School Admission Council to inform law schools that test-takers got extra time or other accommodations after lodging demands under the ADA. The ABA is siding with disabled-rights activists in calling for an end to test score flagging. [ABA Journal]

Disabled rights roundup

  • Lawprof’s classic argument: you thought I was capable of going on a workplace rampage with a gun, and though that isn’t true, it means you perceived me as mentally disabled so when you fired me you broke the ADA [Above the Law, ABA Journal, NLJ]
  • “Fragrance-induced disabilities”: “The most frequent MCS [Multiple Chemical Sensitivity] accommodation involves implementing a fragrance-free workplace [or workzone] policy” [Katie Carder McCoy, Washington Workplace Law, earlier here, etc.]
  • Netflix seeks permission to appeal order in captioning accommodation case [NLJ, Social Media Law via Disabilities Law, earlier here, here and here]
  • EEOC presses harder on ADA coverage for obesity [PoL, earlier here, here, here, etc.]
  • Disability groups seek class action: “ADA Suit Claims Wal-Mart Checkout Terminals Are Too High for Wheelchair Users” [ABA Journal, Recorder]
  • Crunch postponed until after election: “Despite delays, chair lifts coming to public pools” [NPR Morning Edition, earlier here, here, here, etc.] Punished for advocacy: disabled groups organize boycotts of “hotels whose leaders, they say, have participated in efforts to delay regulations.” [USA Today]
  • Disabled student sues St. Louis U. med school over failure to provide more time on tests [St. L. P-D]

ADA and law schools: Down with timed exams?

When the topic of testing accommodations comes up in the Disability Law classes he teaches, Sam Bagenstos is struck at the vigor with which his students push back, finding it unfair that so many of their colleagues request and obtain extra time on exams as an accommodation to learning disabilities or other intellectual disabilities, and expressing concern about the danger that some families will be better than others at playing the system. “I believe that the solution is to give all students more time. For this reason, I give take-home exams wherever possible.” Scott Greenfield isn’t satisfied by this answer at all:

…when it comes to being a lawyer, the desirability of providing accommodations is trumped by the ability to fully, competently and ethically serve clients….

Yes, there are things that lawyers do which don’t require speedy processing, but as long as a lawyer is just as entitled to try a case as write a contract, he must be capable of doing both.

More: Paul Horwitz.

Schools roundup

  • Students respond to L.A.’s “healthful” school lunch initiative with a loud “yuck” [L.A. Times, Michelle Malkin/NRO]
  • L.I.: School suspends students for “Tebow” kneeling in hallway [Newsday]
  • “Growing number of college students asking for wiggle room with their academic workloads due to mental health issues.” [WSJ]
  • Proposal to address “learning disability” tangle: give all test-takers extra time [Ruth Colker, SSRN, see p. 126] A.D.H.D. diagnosis and the academic struggle for advantage [Melana Zyla Vickers, NYT “Room for Debate”] “Pediatrician Group Seeks to Boost ADHD Diagnoses” [Sullum]
  • Will distance technology defeat the teachers’ union? [Larry Sand, City Journal]
  • Time to repeal Maryland’s awful “maintenance of effort” law on school funding [WaPo, Baltimore Sun] Contra: MSEA, PDF.
  • French-language cops: “Montreal schools move to scan playground chatter” [Ottawa Citizen]

May 26 roundup

  • Oh dear: Elena Kagan praised as “my judicial hero” Aharon Barak, ultra-activist Israeli jurist flayed by Posner as lawless [Stuart Taylor, Jr./Newsweek] Kagan and executive power [Root, Reason]
  • More on efforts to get feds to redesign hot dogs and other choking-risk foods [NYT, earlier]
  • Amid brouhaha over Rand Paul views, Chicago firefighter-test case provides reminder of how discrimination law actually plays out in courts today [Tabarrok, MargRev]
  • So please, Ken, tell us what you really think of this Mr. Francis (“Girls Gone Wild”) and his nastygrams [Popehat]
  • More on SEIU’s tactic of sending mob to banker’s home in suburban Maryland [Volokh and more, earlier]
  • “Intensive Parenting Enforced: Parents Criminal Liability for Children Skipping School” [Gaia Bernstein, ConcurOp on a California bill]
  • Julian Ku unimpressed with United Nations officials’ claims that Arizona immigration statute violates international civil rights law [Opinio Juris] Plus, a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [Kopel, Volokh] Ilya Shapiro analyzes statute’s constitutionality [Cato]
  • Bill moving through Congress would force states, localities to accept unionization, arbitration for public safety workforces [Fox, Jottings] And here comes the giant federal bailout of union pension funds [Megan McArdle]

“Man Sues for Extra Time on LSAT, Claiming ADHD”

“A prospective law school student who alleges he has a disability filed a suit in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, seeking a court order to force the Law School Admissions Council to provide him with accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for the Law School Admissions Test.” [Texas Lawyer via ABA Journal]

“We were getting people with 60 hours of college credit who were reading at a third-grade level. What do you think you’ll get if you have no screening process?”

So asks Charlie Roberts, who ran the testing division for the Chicago Police Department from 1995 to 1999, upon learning that the city is simply going to give up on testing because of the threat of lawsuits. (Fran Spielman and Frank Main, “Police may scrap entrance exam”, Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 6.) The problem is exacerbated by the EEOC’s Four-Fifths Rule—of dubious constitutionality after Ricci—which holds that any selection process that results in a selection rate for any race, sex, or ethnic group less than four-fifths of the most successful group is “adverse impact” that “constitutes discrimination unless justified.” 41 CFR ยง 60-3.