A group of high school students sued the College Entrance Examination Board, claiming its advanced placement tests are unfair to teens trapped at home by the coronavirus pandemic without adequate computers or Internet connections.
The board, which offers college-level curriculum for courses and exams to high school students, and Educational Testing Services (ETS), which administers the advanced placement exams, discriminated against students without sufficient resources, those in remote locations and the disabled, according to a proposed class-action complaint filed last Tuesday in a Los Angeles federal court.
“It is unrealistic to think that all students have quiet, private spaces at home in which to test,” the students said. “Lower-income students are much more likely to face cramped housing, siblings and parents sharing the same workspace, Internet connectivity problems, noisy environments and less comfortable testing spaces.”
Photo: Pixabay 照片：Pixabay
The students were joined in the complaint by FairTest, an advocacy group that has been pushing colleges to drop the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement because the standardized tests are allegedly biased against poor and minority students.
Like most of higher education, standardized college exams have been upended during the pandemic. In-person SAT exams have been canceled and a number of selective schools have made the exams test optional, at least temporarily.
Students take the AP exams often with the hopes of earning college credit. As many as 20 percent of students were unable to submit their responses through the testing platform in the first three days of the exam, according to the lawsuit. Others couldn’t finish their exams or log into the platform at all, although they practiced beforehand, according to the complaint.
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
The College Board said it would contest the lawsuit and expects to prevail. ETS referred a request for comment to the College Board.
Peter Schwartz, general counsel for the College Board, said that almost three million AP exams were taken in the first week after the test was redesigned to be taken at home. Students who were unable to successfully submit their exam can still take a makeup and have the opportunity to earn college credit, he said.
“This lawsuit is a PR stunt masquerading as a legal complaint being manufactured by an opportunistic organization that prioritizes media coverage for itself,” he said in an emailed statement. “It is wrong factually and baseless legally.”
Photo: Reuters 照片：路透
Watching videos of students who tried to submit their tests as the timer clicked down to zero are heartbreaking, said David Rion, Director of College Guidance at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, US.
“The College Board says somewhat cavalierly that students who weren’t able to submit can re-take the test in a few weeks, and that’s true,” Rion said in an email. “But it completely overlooks the in-the-moment trauma of having technical issues during an important test.”
Photo: Pixabay 照片：Pixabay
Photo: AP 照片：美聯社
1. What difficulties might a student encounter when studying or taking exams from home?
2. What are the pros and cons of learning from home? Do you prefer attending classes at school or remote learning?
3. Have you participated in an online exam before? How does it feel compared to a paper-based exam? Which format do you prefer?
4. In your opinion, what are the main purposes of taking exams? (For example, to motivate students to learn, to discern students’ abilities, etc.)
(Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
1. sue v.
控告 (kong4 gao4)
2. entrance examination phr.
入學考試 (ru4 xue2 kao3 shi4)
3. placement test phr.
分班測驗 (fen1 ban1 ce4 yan4)
4. discriminate against phr.
歧視 (qi2 shi4)
5. class action phr.
集體訴訟 (ji2 ti3 su4 song4)
6. admissions requirement phr.
入學條件 (ru4 xue2 tiao2 jian4)
7. makeup examination phr.
補考 (bu2 kao3)
8. opportunistic adj.
投機取巧的 (tou2 ji1 qu2 qiao3 de5)
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,
Let’s dine out tonight (3/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（三） A: Hmm. . . I can’t decide what to order. I’m hesitating between a lamb rogan josh or a beef vindaloo. B: Well, let’s order both and share the dishes. We can also order the tandoori king prawns that I was just eyeing up. A: The prawn dish will perfectly complement the bottle of Australian Chardonnay that I’ve brought along. It’s a great wine, with notes of peaches and lemongrass. B: Cool! Let’s also order some butter naan bread and pilau rice for two. A: 嗯……我無法決定要點哪一道菜。我正在猶豫要點喀什米爾羊肉咖哩，還是辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。 B: 啊，那我們兩個都點，然後分著吃吧。我們還可以點一份坦都里香料烤明蝦，我剛剛一直在看這道菜。 A: 這道明蝦應該能完美搭配我帶來的這瓶澳洲夏多內白葡萄酒。這瓶酒真的很棒哦，帶有桃子和檸檬草的香氣。 B: 酷！那我們也點一些奶油烤餅，和兩人份的香料米飯吧。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） WARNING: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage
Literary circles have been celebrating the legacy of late writer Eileen Chang, who would have turned 100 on Wednesday next week. Born in Shanghai, the legendary writer shot to fame in her 20s, and continued to write after moving to Hong Kong, and then the US, in the 1950s. Chang is one of the greatest female Chinese writers, and her classic works include Love in a Fallen City, The Golden Cangue, and The Red Rose and the White Rose. Many of her novels, such as Lust, Caution, were adapted into films and TV drama series. Based on Chang’s novel Aloeswood Incense