David Coleman – Hope for the SAT? Let’s Hope So! Good Luck, David!

Todd Balf’s article “The SAT Is Hated By . . . .” in the March 9 issue of the New York Times Magazine sheds some light on the problems created by high stakes standardized testing – specifically the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

The article is excellent and offers some hope that David Coleman, appointed to the position of CEO of the College Board since late 2012, can bring his passion for “evidence-based solutions” to a system which, as well articulated in the article, seems to reward those who have the means to pay for tutors to teach them how to take the test. The article clearly points out that the SAT might offer a better correlation between test scores and family income than student aptitude for higher learning.

Coleman’s passion for “evidence-based solutions” was clearly gained through his experience in the practical world as a consultant for McKinsey & Company – one of the world’s best consulting firms. Why this is important to me is that the process is a combination of two of the “Critical Skills” – the gathering of relevant information (the evidence) and the development of findings and conclusions based on that evidence (the analysis).

This is progress in the world of education!

Coleman embraces and was a key contributor in the development of “Common Core Standards” which are being implemented in more than 40 states. The challenges to the Common Core Standards are huge – teachers need to learn how to teach to the Common Core – AND – assessments need to be developed that measure student mastery of the standards.

Taking steps toward changing the assessment system to measure student achievement and college preparedness – the original goal of the SAT – is what Coleman is doing now – and we applaud his efforts. Students will begin to experience what has been created in the spring of 2016.

Good luck, Mr. Coleman! We wish you the very best and will follow and support your progress closely.

During the next few weeks we will focus our blog articles on the challenges of teaching the “Common Core Standards” and, in particular, the “Critical Skills.” We will show different ways that they can be taught . . . . and, believe it or not . . . . . . . . . properly assessed.

Stay tuned.

Charles C. Jett

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