Mar 6, 2014 by

sows ear

“David Coleman, 2016 SAT: A Sow’s Ear”

by Donna Garner



David Coleman, president of The College Board, made his big announcement yesterday about the new SAT to be released in 2016 – Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sat-to-drop-essay-requirement-and-return-to-top-score-of-1600-in-redesign-of-admission-test/2014/03/05/2aa9eee4-a46a-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html?wpisrc=al_national .



We have to hand it to David Coleman and his propaganda machine. They really know how “to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”  What is not to like about the new 2016 SAT?


Let’s take a look at Coleman’s description of the new 2016 SAT: 


  • No 25-minute, timed essay – essay to be optional
  • Less of the “fancy” vocabulary words – replacing them with college-and-career words
  • Will open doors to higher education for low-income students
  • Free online Khan Academy instruction – will bypass expensive SAT-prep tutorials
  • No longer deducting ¼ of a point for guessing on multiple-choice answers
  • New score to be 1600 rather than 2,400
  • Will analyze documents that are key to our nation’s founding
  • New SAT to be “more accessible, straightforward and grounded in what is taught in high school”
  • Low-income students to get 4 free fee waivers


Wow!  The new 2016 SAT sounds great, doesn’t it, but what is the real truth?




The problem is that the new SAT will destroy the little bit of English proficiency that we have left in our country.  In 2005, it was because of the downward spiral of the English language that the College Board (under previous leadership – not David Coleman) revised the SAT and designated 800 points for the verbal section, including 49 multiple-choice grammar/usage questions (70% of the score) and a 25-minute essay. 

The Washington Post indicates that in the new 2016 SAT, the section which is now called “critical reading” will be merged with the multiple-choice writing questions and will be called “evidence-based reading and writing.”  The 49 grammar/usage questions known as “sentence completion” will be dropped; and passages from science, history, and social studies will be expanded.

The new 2016 SAT will get rid of the 49 grammar/usage questions, and this is supposed to help make our American students stronger communicators.  I don’t think so.


Along with making the essay optional, the new SAT will basically decrease emphasis in K-12 on correct writing.  These 2016 SAT changes will have a trickle-down effect, and teachers will quit focusing on good writing strategies which are difficult to teach because of the time-on-task required.


It is all too obvious that the new changes in the 2016 SAT are meant to enable students from language-impoverished homes to raise their SAT scores without their being held accountable to write well in English.  Granting them the low expectations of the new SAT is not doing them a favor but is instead setting them up for failure in their future lives.


The new SAT’s dumbing down of English proficiency does not bode well for good English communication skills in this and future generations. All students can learn to improve their English proficiency if they are taught correctly and if they dedicate themselves to the task.





Another very troublesome development in the 2016 SAT is its intentional alignment with the Common Core Standards.  The Common Core Standards for English are actually called “The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History, Social Studies, Science, & Technical Subjects.”  It is from these broad-ranging topics that the informational text selections will be taken both in the SAT and in the Common Core assessments, and this is where the indoctrination and manipulation of students’ minds will occur.  


The informational text selections will come from leftist historical documents that support their ideology, and Common Core teachers who teach these documents are not allowed to give any historical or contextual background before students read them.  Students read them “cold” and then arrive at consensus with other students about the meaning of the documents. (Can you imagine the shallow and warped views students would get from reading The Gettysburg Address without being taught the historical backstory that inspired President Lincoln to deliver it?)


I predict that teachers who are pressured to prepare their students for both the national Common Core assessments and the new SAT will feel even more compelled to teach the Common Core selections mentioned in Appendix B of the CCS because they will assume many of the SAT questions will come from those selections. (12.17.13 – “Common Core Sexualizes American School Children – by Mary Jo Anderson — http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/common-core-sexualizes-american-school-children ) and  (10.15.13 – “Common Core Porn vs. Quality Literature” – by Donna Garner — https://www.educationviews.org/common-core-porn-vs-quality-literature/ )



The U. S. Dept. of Ed. is a federal agency that is implementing the Common Core Standards; and in Appendix B, the USDOE definitely infringes upon the rights of states and local educators by telling them what to teach.  That over-reach on the part of Obama’s USDOE is forbidden under federal laws.  (To read more about the federal laws being broken:  2.19.14 – “ObamaCore: $16 Billion Unfunded Mandate” – by Jamie Gass, Charles Chieppo — http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/19/ObamaCore-16-Billion-Unfunded-Mandate)




PODCAST:  2.16.14 (6 minutes) — Dr. Peg Luksik explains the egregious and very disturbing Common Core testing questions that will be imbedded in students’ computer-adaptive assessments, resulting in behavior change without children nor parents even knowing what has occurred.  Because the 2016 SAT is to be computer administered, the same thing could occur on it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY4iMwlarNA





Excerpts taken from “3.3.14 – “Why Moms Are Protesting Common Core” – by Phyllis Schlafly —  http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/why-moms-are-protesting-common-core/

For example, now available for purchase is a set of nearly 500-page books called ‘SpringBoard, Consumable Student Edition,’ which is advertised on the cover to be ‘The College Board’s official Pre-AP program.’  There is a book for each middle-school and high-school level that includes large spaces where students can write their answers or comments.

The selected readings in one of these middle school books are a curious lot. Two of the longest readings are the complete United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the complete United Nations Millennium Declaration.

Global diversity appears to be the rationale for article selections. They include articles about head scarves on Muslims in France, the punishment of an American teenager in Singapore, an arranged marriage in India, learning the Japanese language, an African novel and three articles promoting belief in global warming.

The very few pages devoted to American culture include the problem of a kid trying to avoid parental punishment for arriving home after his curfew deadline, Halloween and a controversy over sea lions in Oregon.

The advertising for these books specifies that ‘The SpringBoard program is well aligned with the Common Core standards,’ and ‘The strength of the SpringBoard program continues to be the development of critical thinking and close reading skills through scaffolded instruction.’




The best way for students to build a deep and working vocabulary is to read the great historical and literary classics and to study how the words are used in context.  Because the Common Core mandates 70% informational text in high school, teachers will not have time to teach the classics. The new SAT will further that trend, depriving students of the great historical and literary pieces that have connected generations of people before them.


In fact, these changes in the SAT are exactly the opposite of the direction in which it should take our students.  Rather than helping them to read the more sophisticated text of the traditional classics and write well using logical and analytical skills, students will be “dumbed down” while at the same time they are being indoctrinated into the social justice agenda of the informational text (e.g., CCS Appendix B). 


In David Coleman’s press release, the AP reported, “The optional essay will be changed in other ways, too. It will measure students’ ability to analyze and explain how an author builds an argument, instead of measuring the coherence of the writing but not the quality or accuracy of the reasoning.”


An experienced classroom teacher sent me her comments yesterday in reference to the above statement:


I do not understand this sentence. The new measurement will be on analyzing the ‘construction’ of an argument, but not on measuring coherence of the writing, and not on the quality or accuracy of the reasoning? How does one ‘build’ anything of value and not have it use coherence, accuracy, and quality in construction? In other words, on the new 2016 SAT, fabricated and non-factual reasoning will be considered as being significant and as offering supportive details in the essay. The ‘process’ instead of the results will be considered by the SAT scorers as creative thinking.


To summarize, the student will not be given a topic (i.e., prompt) and expected to write his/her own essay, writing fact-based, insightful, coherent, and correctly worded text.  Instead, the student will read someone else’s selection and explain how that writer developed his argument. This is yet another opportunity for the leftist agenda to penetrate the student’s mind.




The public needs to remember that David Coleman is the same man who, even though he had never taught English a day in his life in K-12, became the lead writer of the Common Core English Standards. 

David Coleman is also the same person to whom Bill Gates in June 2012 bestowed $6.5 Million.  This was to help support Coleman’s company called Student Achievement Partners (SAP) owned by him, Susan Pimentel, and Jason Zimba.  Pimentel worked on the Common Core English Standards, and Jason Zimba was the lead writer of the Common Core Math Standards.  As stated by Dr. Susan Berry, Bill Gates funneled $147.9 Million to SAP, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, Inc. which led in actuality to the “Common Core Gates Standards.” 

David Coleman’s ties to Communist Bill Ayers and to Barack Obama are well documented in the following articles:


11.27.13 – “Common Core ‘Architect’ David Coleman’s History with Bill Ayers and Barack Obama” – by Danette Clark – EAGnews.org — http://eagnews.org/common-core-architect-david-colemans-history-with-the-ayers-and-obama-led-chicago-annenberg-challenge/


12.5.13 – “Common Core Roots Lie in Ties Between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers” – by Dr. Susan Berry — Breitbart.com — http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/04/Roots-of-Common-Core-Lie-In-Association-Between-Barack-Obama-And-Bill-Ayers






The public must continue to fight for the Type #1 classical, traditional, knowledge-based, academic content in students’ classrooms, curriculum, and tests.  Common Core Standards is Type #2.  (Link to Type #1 vs. Type #2 Chart — https://www.educationviews.org/comparison-types-education-type-1-traditional-vs-type-2-cscope-common-core/



In actuality, students who are taught a Type #1 education will be ready for college/university because they will have the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to be successful, independent, and capable students.  They will be good readers, writers, and thinkers who can then transfer that knowledge to all of their other  college/university courses.


Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project has stated that by the time 2016 gets here, there may be other testing companies that will rise up, compete with the SAT, create their own Type #1 test, and take over the market.  The results from a Type #1 test would be fair to students because the questions would be fact-based/verifiable, would have right-or-wrong answers, and would not be based upon the wishy-washy, subjective beliefs of an unknown evaluator.  A Type #1 test would give colleges/universities the college admission and placement information they actually need to evaluate students’ academic achievement.


According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, there are already close to 800 colleges/universities that do not even require the SAT nor the ACT for undergraduate admission.  Will it even be absolutely imperative for a graduating high-school student to take the SAT and/or the ACT by 2016?

As a veteran English teacher of more than 33 years, I believe that parents need to do everything possible to make sure their children receive a Type #1 education even if it means supplementing their children’s education themselves. Then when it comes time for their children to consider college/university enrollment, their children will have the knowledge and skills, the good judgment, and the cognitive tools with which to analyze and think.  Those abilities will serve them well on any test that they take and more importantly will help them to make good citizens, voters, family members, and contributing members of society.   

To learn more about the characteristics of a Type #1 vs. a Type #2 education, here are some very helpful resources from Dr. Terrence Moore in which he clearly describes the differences:


Videos/podcasts by Dr. Terrence Moore: 


1.24.14 — https://www.educationviews.org/classical-educator-explains-common-core-standards-stealing-souls-children



1.19.14 — http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/18/Hillsdale-College-Professor-Terrence-Moore-Common-Core-Superficial-Biased-Embarrassingly-Dumb




12.2.13 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfGBiDDDWUY



11.20.13 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HexXAf6MuN0&list=PLamKNWBeuEBQWBxplBozOId12_BzsknZ1



8.5.13 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZyEq4SPF3w 





Donna Garner


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