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Accord Sets S.A.T. Date For Disabled

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Washington

Disabled students will be able to take the new Scholastic Assessment Test more than once this year, under a settlement announced last week between the Justice Department and the Educational Testing Service and the College Board.

Under the agreement, disabled students who took the new test on one of two days last month, or who were unable to take the test on either of those days, will be able to take the new S.A.T. on either June 4 or June 8.

The June 4 date has been set aside for learning-disabled students who need up to 90 minutes of extra time to complete the exam.

The June 8 date is reserved for students who need unlimited time, large-print versions of the test booklets and answer sheets, reading assistance, or scribes.

In addition, students with disabilities will have two chances between the announcement and June 30 to take the traditional S.A.T.

The settlement closes the door on a Justice Department investigation into the matter only weeks after it began.

Starting in mid-February, the department received dozens of complaints from disabled students and their families because the E.T.S., which administers the test for the College Board, originally allowed disabled students only one chance at the new test.

Other students, however, had the option of taking the new exam as many as three times.

E.T.S. and College Board officials said their original plan, intended to ease the transition to the new S.A.T., did not violate the spirit of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

"While the demand on the College Board and E.T.S. to produce an additional test form is a great one, we believe our time would be better invested working to provide this opportunity than engaging in a lengthy battle with the Justice Department,'' said Arthur Kroll, the E.T.S. vice president for College Board programs.

The settlement also puts to rest a class action filed by Jaclyn Okin, a disabled New York student who sought another opportunity to take the new S.A.T.

The college-entrance exam this year was renamed and revamped to reflect changes in classroom practice. (See Education Week, March 16, 1994.)

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