In 2011, the number of students who take the ACT surpassed the SAT for the first time ever, spurring David Coleman, president of the College Board, to propose an ambitious project to redesign the SAT to ensure it is relevant. Relevant, according to Coleman, is a test that more sharply focuses on the core set of knowledge and skills high school graduates need to know to succeed in college.
Before becoming president of the College Board in October 2012, Coleman helped write the Common Core of Standards in English for kindergarten through grade 12 that are expected to take effect by 2014. At this point, the Common Core of Standards have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia.
Coleman believes the SAT should become more closely aligned with the new standards, to better connect the kind of academic work expected of students in high school and college. The problem with that is our nation has a plethora of learners hungry for knowledge but are being stuffed to the max with mere information.
In the nation”s push for top scores on standardized tests, there is little or no time to spend time explaining the ideas behind the facts. More than ever, there is a serious need for worldview – the framework of largely unexamined ideas, beliefs and values by which means an individual, group, society or culture make sense of reality and interact with it. It shapes emotions, arts, sciences and social institutions: whole ways of life.
Veteran educator Marion Brady likely says it best: Millions of kids are busy picking up mandated acorns of information, unaware of the tree of knowledge from which they fall. … Sensible education reform begins with a serious, society-wide dialogue about what’s worth learning. It’s a dialogue we’ve yet to have.
My advice to Mr. Coleman would be to have that dialogue before spending any more effort on revising the SAT.