After helping to write Common Core standards, David Coleman moved to College Board, where he pushed a plan to align the SAT and PSAT college entrance exams to the standards, reports Renee Dudley for Reuters. The new Core-linked SAT, released this spring, is facing “harsh realities.”
Within College Board, there were “pitched battles” over Coleman’s “timeline to create the new test,” writes Dudley, who had access to internal e-mails, memos and presentations.
As Reuters reported in March, the College Board has struggled to stop cheating rings in Asia that exploit security weaknesses in the SAT and enable some students to gain unfair advantages on the exam. A massive security breach earlier this year exposed about 400 questions for upcoming SATs. And College Board officials went forward with the redesigned test even though they knew it was overloaded with wordy math questions, a problem that handicaps non-native English speakers and reinforces race and income disparities that Coleman has vowed to diminish.
Reviewers warned that linking to Common Core “would disadvantage students in states that rejected the standards or were slow to absorb them,” writes Dudley.
Aligning the SAT with the Common Core standards is not “educationally sound, nor will it be fair to students for at least several years, even if all fifty states enthusiastically adopt them,” wrote Dan Lotesto, a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“It was a bad year, and I’m sorry,” Coleman said in September, at a conference of university admissions officers and high school counselors. “It is no good to have vision if you don’t deliver.”
Several states have dropped the Common Core. President-elect Donald Trump has called the standards a “total disaster.”
The Common Core is “unraveling,” education historian Diane Ravitch said in an interview. “If the SAT becomes woefully out of line with what’s happening in schools, then it’s less valuable.”
The ACT has passed the SAT in popularity among collegebound students.