By: Bill Bosher
The SAT is about to be redesigned. Its developers state that it will now reflect the new common core standards.
These are the same standards that the Fed used to force states to "sign on" before many were even written. The bargaining chip was the availability of Federal funds.
Some states, like Georgia, are now trying to distance themselves from the common core. Last week, their senate passed a measure that is now being debated in the house.
While prescribing standards does not mean dictating teaching methods…pedagogy, the temptation seems to be great for some who see the standards movement as a window through which modern approaches can be introduced.
While in Atlanta over the weekend, I saw a document that illustrated a new approach to teaching math…instead of subtracting 12 from 32 the "old way" and getting 20, the new approach had a four-step process to get to the same answer. In reality, I didn't understand the new approach!
So here is the challenge, the SAT, a test that some colleges are no longer requiring, is being changed to reflect standards that some states are attempting to reject…and that Virginia never accepted.
Conspiracy theorists could postulate that the Fed is bringing pressure on conventional test developers to put the heat on states by creating doubt about whether or not their students will be competitive in the SAT race to selective universities. Indiana has already officially asked the question.
Perhaps the real question is, "To what degree will the Fed use its coercive power to impose educational programs on states when it has no Constitutional authority?'