Wednesday, September 9, 2015



Coleman's New SAT

The unveiling of David Coleman's New, Improved SAT Suite is just around the corner, and that means its time to ramp up the marketing blitz for this great new product.

The College Board website is freshly festooned with a festive font that shows that the new SAT Suite is ready to hang with the cool kids. I mean, you can follow the SAT on twitter! All the young persons are following the twitter, right?

The whole business seems charmingly cheesy in its commercial crassness, but it stands as one more part of David Coleman's crusade to redefine what it means to be an educated person in this country.We've been watching this come down the pike for a while; what can we spot now that it's almost here?

I Can Has Skillz

The new SAT comes complete with a new motto-- "skilled it." And copywriters have made sure that theme permeates the site. "Bank on skills." "Show off your skills." "Let's talk skills." "Skill Mail." "Calling all skills." "U of Skill."  "Skilled in class. Skilled for college." "Take the test that measures the real skills you've learned in class to show colleges you've got what it takes." Can you spot the unifying feature here? Only one of the blurby graphics mentions the K word-- "Show off the skills and knowledge colleges want most."

The SAT suite has been brought in line with the many unappealing qualities of the Common Core-- a disregard bordering on antipathy when it comes to actual content knowledge.

Granted, the SAT has always been a soul-sucking hypocrite when it comes to this issue, subjecting generations of students to verbal tests that claimed to measure reasoning while actually just being expensive, complicated vocabulary tests. But our new goal seems to be to turn the SAT into PARCC's step-brother. I could, if I wished, prepare my students for the Big Standardized Core test by doing nothing all year but reading newspaper articles and pages from storybooks, followed by multiple