In view of the social stigma associated with disabilities, and the inherent costs of providing accommodations to disabled students, the opportunity for bias within the admissions selection process is clear. As a result, the practice of flagging standardized tests has come under increasing scrutiny. The practice of distinguishing test takers having a disability from those who do not runs counter to the social policy of inclusion, and prevents disabled individuals from enjoying the benefits of equal citizenship. Part II of this paper provides a brief overview of the prejudice disabled individuals have endured throughout history, and discusses some early movements toward change. Part III discusses the legality of flagging test scores and provides an overview of federal laws and professional standards applicable to the practice. Part IV discusses the practice of flagging and the use of accommodations in standardized testing, and evaluates the empirical evidence obtained from standard and nonstandard test administrations in the context of flagging. The section concludes with a brief discussion of why some testing entities stopped flagging test scores. Part V discusses the continued practice of flagging test scores received on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and examines the empirical evidence used to justify the practice. The section concludes with an analysis of the leading case addressing flagging scores received on professional exams. Part VI provides commentary on the propriety of flagging tests and provides recommendations for change to eliminate the stigmatizing effects of segregating students with disabilities in the admissions process.
Helia Garrido Hull, Equal Access to Post-Secondary Education: The Sisyphean Impact of Flagging Test Scores of Persons with Disabilities , 55 Clev. St. L. Rev. 15 (2007)