In The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul, College Board president David Coleman tells the New York Times what the exam will look like in a few years.
Coleman gave me what he said was a simplistic example of the kind of question that might be on this part of the exam. Students would read an excerpt from a 1974 speech by Representative Barbara Jordan of Texas, in which she said the impeachment of Nixon would divide people into two parties. Students would then answer a question like: “What does Jordan mean by the word ‘party’?” and would select from several possible choices. This sort of vocabulary question would replace the more esoteric version on the current SAT. . . . The Barbara Jordan vocabulary question would have a follow-up — “How do you know your answer is correct?” — to which students would respond by identifying lines in the passage that supported their answer.
All this sounds a lot like the emphasis in Common Core standards, which Coleman helped write.
The math section will focus on problem solving and data analysis, linear equations and the “passport to advanced math,” which will test “the student’s familiarity with complex equations and their applications in science and social science.”
The SAT revisions are a big mistake, writes Peter Wood on Minding the Campus.
David Coleman, head of the College Board, is also the chief architect of the Common Core K-12 State Standards, which are now mired in controversy across the country. Coleman’s initiative in revising the SAT should be seen first of all as a rescue mission. As the Common Core flounders, he is throwing it an SAT life preserver.
The exam will be “dumbed down” to serve a “social justice” agenda, writes Susan Berry on Breitbart.
Rick Hess is “unwowed.” It’s supposed to be a more rigorous test, but the vocabulary expectations will be “dumbed down,” Hess writes.
The College Board announced the new test would put an end to the “tricks” that had made test prep so effective, advantaging students whose families could afford it. . . . I’d bet that within twelve months, the prep folks will have devised strategies to help coach “close reading” and otherwise adjusted to the new test.
Eliminating the mandatory essay is supposed to promote fairness and test validity, writes Hess. Not so long ago, the essay was introduced to promote fairness and test validity.
Finally, he worries about “the Common Core’ification of the SAT.” By revising the SAT to match Common Core standards, College Board risks politicizing the exam and disadvantages students in non-Core states.