Common Core Architect Now Dumbing Down SAT

By:  Alex Newman
03/11/2014
       
Common Core Architect Now Dumbing Down SAT

One of the key “architects” of the controversial Common Core national standards announced an overhaul of the SAT that has critics up in arms.

Even as the unprecedented uprising continues to grow against the Obama administration-pushed Common Core nationalization of education, one of the key “architects” of the controversial national standards announced an overhaul of the SAT that has critics up in arms. In addition to dumbing down the important test, one of two main standardized exams generally used by colleges for admissions, analysts say the revisions will play a key role in imposing Common Core on all American students — even children who are homeschooled, private-schooled, or in states that have officially resisted the widely criticized national standards.

The revamping of the SAT was announced last week by David Coleman, a controversial figure widely described as the “architect” of Common Core, who in 2012 became president of the College Board, which controls the tests. Among the biggest changes are the removal of the essay requirement and an end to penalties for incorrect answers aimed at discouraging guessing. Also sparking alarm among experts concerned about the ongoing dumbing down of American education is the fact that the SAT will be drastically scaling back and simplifying the vocabulary and math requirements.

“By changing the exam’s focus, we change the learning and work the SAT invites. Today, many students who are terrified they will be tested on lots of SAT words have one recourse: flashcards,” Coleman said in a statement about the changes to the tests, set to go into effect by 2016. “Every educator knows flashcards are not the best way to build real word knowledge, but when the SAT rolls around they become the royal road. Students stop reading and start flipping.” Speaking in Austin, Coleman also said the SAT should offer “worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles.”

Another key emphasis in the new SAT will be “fairness,” reducing “inequality,” and “providing opportunity” by, for example, partnering with the Khan Academy to help students prepare for the tests. College Board officials and Common Core proponents have claimed repeatedly in recent days that financially better-off students are able to do better on the exam because they can pay for tutors or preparation lessons. With the revamped SAT and its relationship with Khan to provide test-takers with free preparation, supporters of the changes hope to reduce that alleged unfairness.

Plenty of analysts have highlighted the fact that SAT has been losing market share to another college admissions test known as the ACT, which recently overtook the College Board’s exam in terms of the number of participating students. That may well be a factor in the latest announcement. For critics, however, one of the most important reasons for the changes — aside from artificially boosting student scores by removing harder vocabulary words and math problems, for instance — is an underhanded attempt to foist Common Core on America by stealth.     

As The New American warned last year in a major report on Common Core, despite proponents’ claims that the radical standards are “voluntary,” the alignment of national college-entrance exams with Common Core is an effort to deceitfully ensnare every student in the United States in the Obama administration’s education “reform” regime. With the SAT aligned with the standards, even homeschooling families and students at private schools will be under heavy pressure to submit to Common Core.

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