The College Board’s March 5 announcement that the SAT college-admissions exam will undergo a significant overhaul in 2016 has generated no shortage of commentary, some of it praising the changes as a “democratization” of the test, Randolf Arguelles writes at the Wall Street Journal. The College Board says it is expanding its outreach to low-income students and shifting from testing abstract-reasoning skills to evidence-based reading, writing and mathematical skills acquired in high school. Ultimately, the exam will look a lot more like the ACT, which has been taking away the SAT’s market share in recent years.
The goal, according to College Board President and CEO David Coleman, is to combat the advantages some students gain by costly test-preparation. His message for students was that “we hope you breathe a sigh of relief that this exam will be focused, useful, open, clear and aligned with the work you will do throughout high school.”
Despite this intention, and the fact that low-income students will have the $51 test fee waived, I suspect the new SAT will widen, not narrow, the education gap in the United States.