Residents of CO, CT, DE, IL, ME, MI, and NH, the heads of the Department of Education of your states have failed to protect the best interests of your students and your families, opting instead to protect their own interests and the interests of the College Board.
Over the last five months, I have written about several serious problems with the redesigned SAT. The problems include:
- Development processes that do not meet industry standards; false claims made (in public documents) by the College Board about those processes; false claims made (in state proposals and contracts) by the College Board about those processes.
- Poor quality of items—documented in letters and comments from content committee members.
- Extensive revisions of a large percentage of operational items—the College Board claims that this happens only on the RAREST of occasions.
- Test speediness resulting from the use of the wrong test specifications during the construction of operational SAT forms—use of the wrong specifications resulted in operational tests that, according to formal timing studies conducted by the College Board, require an additional 21-32 minutes (on top of the 80 minutes already allowed) to complete.
Under normal circumstances, the department of education of the client states would have imposed heavy penalties on the College Board; suspended administration of the flawed SATs; and demanded immediate corrective actions.
For example, in 2010, the state of Florida fined Pearson nearly $15 million, which Pearson paid. (Source: www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/florida-hits-fcat-contractor-pearson-with-another-12-million-in-penalties/1110688.) The nearly $15 million fines were imposed because the FCAT results were delivered late. Imagine what the fines would have been if the problems had been as severe as the ones I’ve disclosed about the SAT.
The reason you are not seeing this type of reaction from the states administering the SAT for accountability is that they are partly responsible for the problem.