The College Board has once again made changes to the SAT, reducing writing and vocabulary expectations that negatively affect the exam’s rigor. The latest installment in the over two decade-long struggle to implement what always appear to be well-intentioned modifications, is nothing short of the SAT’s battle to avoid obscurity.
This is just another instance when student outcomes are not the impetus behind changes. And each change has brought about more confusion, and frankly, lower expectations being set for our children. Who could forget the “contentless writing” debates of 2005.
Lagging test scores on the SAT were no different in 2001 than they are today. The real issue at stake is whether or not children are learning and whether we’ve set expectations so low (eliminating “obscure words”) for them that they themselves are on a path to obscurity.
President, The Center for Education Reform