There are two very serious issues surrounding the Common Core and the SAT. The SAT is the test students must conquer to get into many colleges. There is a reason David “nobody gives an expletive what you think or feel” Coleman, a central figure involved in the development of the Common Core, is now President of the College Board. He is aligning the Common Core to the SAT. If a student wants to get into a particular college they will likely need the Common Core State Standards.
It is also serious that by aligning the SAT to the Common Core, we will never get a picture whether students are doing better in school than they did before the Common Core. You can’t compare the new SAT, with the old SAT, if the new SAT is all about Common Core, so there is no way to show that the Common Core State Standards lack credibility. This is pretty tricky if you ask me. I wrote about it once before when Coleman first came out talking about changes. HERE.
There are all kinds of serious questions about the importance of the SAT without considering the Common Core. The College Board is not-for-profit and it is easy to wonder why. A lot of money is made on, not only the SAT, but Advanced Placement (AP) with its series of class preps and tests. But aligning everything a student does in school to the SAT seems particularly troubling.
In addition, if you like the idea of a college entrance test, it is important to note that students have been doing well on the SAT for a number of years. Most Ivy League schools have to turn away very capable students who have proven themselves on the SAT. Why Coleman needs to change the SAT, making it simpler, or making it more difficult, should raise further questions. I am not saying I like the SAT. I, quite frankly, have mixed feelings about the test itself. But that’s for another post maybe.
The point here is that they are making the test so you cannot escape the Common Core no matter where you go to school.
And, parents who think they can dip into their savings and flee public schools to avoid Common Core will probably be disappointed. Both private and parochial schools will eventually have to gear their curriculum to align to the Common Core if students want to go to a particular college. So if parents decide to send their child to a private school, they should at least ask the headmaster or principal if they will be aligning the curriculum to match the Common Core.
This raises a lot of questions also about the independence that will be afforded private schools to run their own show.
If they boast that they aren’t aligning their curriculum to the Common Core, a parent will have to ask further questions. If they don’t align their curriculum to the Common Core will your child do well on the SAT? If your child doesn’t do well on the Common Core aligned SAT will they get into the college of their choice?
You might be happy to learn that there are colleges and universities that don’t require the SAT. FairTest has a list of those schools. HERE is the link. If you determine that your child is going to go to one of these colleges, you don’t have to worry so much about the Common Core. However, your school will still most likely have to teach to the Core for the other students.
And Catholics and other religious schools will also have to address the Common Core if they expect students to pass the SAT. A while back Catholic scholars wrote a letter criticizing the Common Core. They obviously knew the Common Core would be coming to Catholic schools too. It currently is in quite a few of them, and there are parents who are unhappy about it.
The other college entrance test is the ACT by another company, but if you think your student can avoid the SAT with the ACT you are out of luck. The ACT is being aligned to Common Core too.
I will try to write a more cheerful post next time.
Here are two articles that discusses Common Core and the alignment of the SAT if you are interested.