Post Lori/Felicity Fallout

Last week I found myself back at the Manhasset Library (with electricity this time, which really helped) chatting with 18-20 parents and kids about college admissions, scholarships and the rest of the kid and kaboodle.  One mom asked me if I thought there would be any changes, now that we’re living in a post Felicity-Lori world.

My answer was two-fold.  

First, I posited that I don’t think we’ve hit POST-scandal status.  I suspect that many of the parents accused of these High College Crimes and Misdemeanors will “give up” some of their friends and even family in order to curry favor with the FBI and reduce their own sentences.

In terms of stuff that could affect YOU, i.e. your 10th or 11th grader, or younger, I have a few deep thoughts to discuss.

Unfortunately, I think it will be harder to obtain extended time accommodations for SAT and ACT testing. I say “unfortunately” because I’m fearful that new rules could  throw the baby out with the bathwater, i.e make it harder on the kids who really deserve accommodations to get them.

The others, who don’t really need it although they suffer from STOD (Standardized Test Onset Disorder), SHOULD have a harder time getting extra time for the tests when they didn’t show any signs of learning issues in 9th and 10th grades.

(To anticipate your next question, yes, I made up STOD.)

I conducted my own non-scientific poll over the last few weeks, asking practically every student I encountered whether they knew of other kids in their high school who got extra time, but didn’t need it.  Approximately 100% said yes.

On to prediction #2.  Don’t be surprised if high school administrators attempt to burden guidance counselors with the duty of verifying what kids put on their college applications.

Previously, we’ve operated under the honor system, but I’ve already started to hear rumblings that counselors will need to take more of an active role to determine whether the robotics team had 17 co-founders, or young Robert really put in 347 hours of community service in 11th grade.

I don’t know how far this will go, because guidance counselors are already overburdened (the ratio of kids to counselor is 400:1 in New York, closer to 500:1 nationally and most guidance counselors report that they spend only 20% of their time on college-related activities).  Maybe all I’m hearing is lip service that won’t amount to anything, maybe it’s more.

Advice

If you suspect that your child needs accommodations, don’t wait – take care of this immediately – these things take time to approve.  Get thyself to an educational psychologist immediately, tarry not.

If you have a 10th grader, start your prep early and often.  Summer before 11th is ideal, even if your kiddo isn’t “ready.”  The more reps you get in, the better you’ll do, it’s that simple.  See our test prep site, www.LockwoodTestPrep.com for spring and summer classes.

NOTE:  I’m toying with the idea of running a hybrid, part ACT part SAT “Hybrid” diagnostic this weekend, to help you figure out Which Test is Best.  Most likely Saturday morning, $20 at the door, graded and analyzed by our tutor Marissa. If interested, reply to this email. If I get enough interest, we’re a go.

Bit of Advice No 3:  Be prepared to have EVERYTHING verified on your college applications, possibly by your guidance counselor, possibly by your admissions officer.  Or maybe by a third party contracted out to double-check the veracity of your applications, who knows?

Speak soon,

-Andy Lockwood

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