Sunday, January 29, 2017


More Snowflakes: Colleges Expanding Definition of 'Disabled Student'
Many years ago I was taking a class in Anatomy and Physiology at a local college, and there were some political demonstrations going on. Students in the class told the professor they would have to miss two classes and the material covered in them in order to take part in the demonstrations. She said she understood, and that they would not be responsible in the final exam for the material covered in those two classes. I stood up and asked her if she accepted the idea that awarding a student a mark was her professional testimony that the student had demonstrated that level of mastery of the course material. She looked a little uncomfortable and said that was generally true. At which point I asked how she could exempt anyone from portions of the exam that everyone else took and thus not demonstrate their mastery of that part of the course material, and yet still award a grade that would be interpreted by the world as a full and fair rating of the student's learning all the material. She got very uncomfortable and said something about a "special case" and that was it. But that is what a mark is supposed to be, the teacher's professional testimony as to the student's demostrated mastery of the course material, with the same opportunity to learn for all, barring really extreme cases. Expanding disability considerations so widely means that they will be exploited by some, and still give others marks they actually do not rate. Does anyone want to be a passenger on the plane where the pilot really didn't meet all the requirements for showing full skill in landings? This is how things really deteriorate in a society, when not only does the high school diploma not necessarily mean much, but maybe not the college degree or even postgrad degrees as well. --Del

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