The new SAT will move the U.S. to a national curriculum, writes Charles Lewis of EdWatch.
As noted, the SAT already has greatly influenced instruction in this country for some time. Much of that influence has been positive; sound instruction, rigorous standards, disciplined classrooms, and tough grading and promotion policies have been the best producers of standardized test excellence. However, certain changes on the SAT have caused great harm. Tests like the Stanford 9 and NAEP have further altered the paradigm, rewarding perfunctory, out-of-sequence presentation of concepts and punishing sound conceptual development, and basing assessment on attitudes rather than reasoning.
The restructuring of the SAT as a tool of social engineering, the references to the imposition of a national curriculum, and the problematical introduction of an essay component signal that the SAT is likely moving in the same direction. That movement is to be resisted vigorously.
He worries that students will be pressured to write essays with socially correct opinions to earn good scores.