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Approx. 400 SAT Test Items Leaked to Reuters News Agency

August 4, 2016

After his stint as a “lead architect” for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), David Coleman landed the presidency of one of the CCSS insider groups, the College Board.

He decided to “redesign” the SAT– but he apparently did not redesign the test security to go along with it.

Ineptness from the College Board, including under David Coleman’s leadership,  is not news. 

What is new, however, is that someone decided to send Reuters news agency hundreds of questions from the redesigned SAT, as Reuters reports on August 03, 2016:

Just months after the College Board unveiled the new SAT this March, a person with access to material for upcoming versions of the redesigned exam provided Reuters with hundreds of confidential test items. The questions and answers include 21 reading passages – each with about a dozen questions – and about 160 math problems.

Reuters doesn’t know how widely the items have circulated. …

The materials provided to Reuters contain a wealth of items for upcoming tests: reading passages drawn from novels, historical documents, scientific journals, essays and other texts, each accompanied by questions. Also among the materials were math problems involving geometry and quadratic equations.

To verify the authenticity of the items, which totaled approximately 400, Reuters contacted the College Board; showed it the items, and asked if the items were genuine.

The College Board’s attorney responded that publishing the items would (as Reuters notes) “render them unusable” and “inflict injuries on the College Board.” College Board rep Sandra Riley noted that the material that Reuters received constitutes “a serious criminal matter.”

I guess that means yes.

And the leak appears to be coming from the College Board’s own people.

Perhaps the leak is a way for those at the College Board who believe the new SAT is a load of junk to try to unburden their own consciences for having helped create it. That is just my guess, but it is an educated guess given that former College Board exec Manuel Alfaro has already gone public with details about how poorly constructed the new SAT is. (Note: I am not implying that Alfaro leaked the items to Reuters. Some insider did so, and there are of course  many insiders, not just Alfaro.)

As for the Reuters situation: Reuters states that it does not know if the items were sent only to Reuters or were more widely dispersed.

I don’t think it will take long for either the College Board or Reuters to find out.

security breach


Just Released– Book Three:

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of both A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

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  1. When I took the SAT
    Way back in ’53
    It seemed to me
    Valid enough to be
    The arbiter of college
    Admission, the knowledge
    Needed to succeed
    And numbers to plead
    With any Ivy dean
    Turned skeptically mean.

    But infected by common core,
    The Zika at testing’ door,
    It is useful no more
    And makes heads shrink.
    Even smart kids can’t score.
    May it die, die and stink,
    Drive Coleman out the door.

    J. H. Underhill
    05 August 2016

  2. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    I hope this whistle blower lands on his feet. Coleman’s pattern of behavior mirrors that during the development and marketing of the Common Core.

    “They chose to conceal, fabricate, and deceive instead of offering students, parents, and clients honest descriptions of the development processes for item specifications, items, and tests.”

    Coleman needs to be removed from the College Board and likely also some of those who allowed this sloppy and fraudulent process to be foisted on users of the tests.

    Better yet, put the College Board in the dumper and have colleges and universities determine admissions criteria, as many are now doing given some evidence that GPA in high school is a better predictor of readiness for college.

    But also be aware that the Gates Foundation is trying to shore up the Common Core and the vague idea of “college and career ready” by any means possible. Some of the new criteria for “college and career ready” go down to the 8th grade and include, for example, days absent from school, whether the student has been suspended, office referrals for bad conduct and or/results from one the many social-emotional surveys flooding the market (including grit).

    Add whether the student completed Algebra 1 and/or Algebra 2, grades in those courses along with performance on state tests required under ESSA.

    Not surprising, Achieve, Inc. is active is still in the business of stating (without evidence) what high school courses students should take, reviving the American Diploma Project with these minimums:

    Achieve, Inc. even has the audacity to tell educators that the reasoning in the American Diploma Project —a real sham with labor market data from 2002—does did not need to be modified

    As many people know, the American Diploma project created by Achieve’ Inc. morphed into the Common Core, with some of the same developers working on both projects.

    I found direct evidence of recycling content from the American Diploma Project (ADP) into one of the Common Core State Standards.

    Here it is: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. Standard RL.9-10.7, which calls for students in grades 9-10 to Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).

    This standard (RL.9-10.7) is identical to a benchmark assignment in the ADP project, which came from an Introductory English Survey Course at Sam Houston University, Huntsville, TX presented on pages 98-99 in Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts, The standard and the example illustrate one meaning of “rigor,” namely, making 9th or 10th grade assignments the same as collegiate studies.

    In other words, I find it not at all surprising that the Coleman has led the College Board into an item-development process that looks like amateur hour. I know a little about that process having worked on item development and review for the first NAEP tests in the visual arts.

    • A school board chairman asked my opinion on Common Core today. You just provided me with more specifics. Thanks.

    • I wonder how Gates and Company would test this. I wasn’t college ready until a sniper almost took me out in Vietnam in 1966 when I was serving in the U.S. Marines. That sniper round that grazed my left ear made me college ready, because if I’d gone to college out of high school like my parents had wanted me to do, I wouldn’t have been there an inch from whatever …

  3. Christine Langhoff permalink

    Mercedes and Laura –

    Your research is invaluable in making the case that CCSS and its proponents are simply bogus. All of us are in your debt.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: About 400 SAT Questions Leaked to Reuters | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. Ed News, Tuesday, August 9, 2016 Edition | tigersteach
  3. FBI Raids Former SAT Exec Manual Alfaro’s Home; Alfaro Posts on LinkedIn Next Day | deutsch29
  4. Former SAT Exec Manuel Alfaro Addresses Details of Reuters’ “FBI Raid” Article | deutsch29
  5. FBI Raids Former SAT Exec Manual Alfaro’s Home; Alfaro Posts On LinkedIn Next Day - Democratsnewz
  6. FBI Raids Former SAT Exec Manual Alfaro’s Home; Alfaro Posts on LinkedIn Next Day | From the ‘deutsch29’ blog | Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning"
  7. David Coleman: Promising to Address SAT Problems When Cornered | deutsch29
  8. David Coleman: Promising To Address SAT Problems When Cornered | business via blog
  9. College Board Botches the Scoring of the June 2018 SAT; Affected Test Takers Petition for Rescore | deutsch29

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