The College Board has ambitious plans to make SAT prep a standard part of the curriculum, utilizing Khan Academy videos. The head of the College Board is David Coleman, architect of the Common Core. The ostensible goal is to help more poor kids get prepared to take the SAT and gain admission to college.
“The company wants schools to track students’ progress from eighth to 12th grade using the “SAT Suite of Assessments,” which will be largely paid for by schools and typically administered during the school day, thus ensuring high participation rates. All of the exams will be aligned with the redesigned SAT, which is slated to make its debut next spring. More school-day testing is bound to take time away from traditional instruction, as is Khan prep if schools make it part of the standard curriculum, which appears to be the College Board’s goal….”
“If you ask Coleman, having students do Khan prep in school doesn’t detract from authentic learning. He believes that doing multiple-choice math and reading questions on screen and watching Khan’s YouTube videos constitute an “organic tool” that will work within the existing curriculum to develop academic skills. Meanwhile, Cynthia Schmeiser, who oversees assessment at the College Board, believes that “the sooner a student starts [using Khan prep], the more comfortable they’ll be on test day.”
“These positions fly in the face of test-prep experts, who argue that the SAT is divorced from traditional school work because it is a high-stakes, time-pressured, multiple-choice exam. Tutors typically recommend intense, compact preparation that detracts as little as possible from other educational pursuits and takes months not years. As Brendan Mernin, a founding tutor at Noodle.com, put it, “The SAT is supposed to show what you got out of your schoolwork. It is not supposed to be the schoolwork.”
What do I think? I think this is a corruption of education. The goal of education is to help young people learn and develop in mind, body, and character. School is a time to explore and develop interests and talents. Taking a test is not the goal of education. It is supposed to be a measure, not a part of the curriculum.
It is well-established that students’ grade point average predicts college readiness better than the SAT. Many colleges recognize this,and more than 800 are now test-optional.
The SAT has been losing ground to the ACT. This may be a clever marketing ploy by the College Board to best the competition.
Let’s hope that more colleges recognize that students’ work over four years means more than the SAT or the ACT. Free the students from this unnecessary burden!