Total Learning Education

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Possible New SAT Revision Again

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Dear Colleagues:


Since becoming president of the College Board this past October, I have had the opportunity to travel around the country, meeting with members and listening to their ideas on how we can improve our organization and enhance our ability to serve students. A recurring theme of these conversations has been the desire for the College Board to find ways to better connect K–12 and higher education institutions through a more innovative assessment that sharply focuses on a core set of knowledge and skills that are essential for readiness, access, and success.


In the months ahead, the College Board will begin an effort in collaboration with its membership to redesign the SAT® so that it better meets the needs of students, schools, and colleges at all levels. We will develop an assessment that mirrors the work that students will do in college so that they will practice the work they need to do to complete college. An improved SAT will strongly focus on the core knowledge and skills that evidence shows are most important to prepare students for the rigors of college and career. This is an ambitious endeavor, and one that will only succeed with the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the strong coordination of our councils and committees, and the full engagement of our membership.


First administered in 1926, the SAT was created to democratize access to higher education for all students. Today the SAT serves as both a measure of students' college and career readiness and a predictor of college outcomes. In its current form, the SAT is aligned to the Common Core as well as or better than any assessment that has been developed for college admission and placement, and serves as a valuable tool for educators and policymakers. While the SAT is the best standardized measure of college and career readiness currently available, the College Board has a responsibility to the millions of students we serve each year to ensure that our programs are continuously evaluated and enhanced, and most importantly respond to the emerging needs of those we serve.


As we begin the redesign process, there are three broad objectives that will drive our work:

■Increase the value of the SAT to students by focusing on a core set of knowledge and skills that are essential to college and career success; reinforcing the practice of enriching and valuable schoolwork; fostering greater opportunities for students to make successful transitions into postsecondary education; and ensuring equity and fairness.

■Increase the value of the SAT to higher education professionals by ensuring that the SAT meets the evolving needs of admission officers, faculty, and other administrators, and that the SAT remains a valid and reliable predictor of college success.

■Increase the value of the SAT to K–12 educators, administrators and counselors by strengthening the alignment of the SAT to college and career readiness; ensuring that the content reflects excellence in classroom instruction; and developing companion tools that allow educators to use SAT results to improve curriculum and instruction.

The College Board has begun to engage key stakeholders to solicit feedback. I have asked Vice President James Montoya and Executive Director Fabrizio D'Aloisio to head up outreach efforts to ensure that the voices of our members are heard throughout this process. Jim and Fabrizio will be holding meetings and discussions throughout the country to ensure that the redesign of the SAT reflects the input of College Board membership. We will also be working closely with our partners at ETS whose able assistance will be critical to our success.


This effort cannot succeed without your direct engagement, and I hope that you will work with us in the months ahead as we undertake this important initiative.




David Coleman President, The College Board

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