The SAT is doing away with the essay test, finally acknowledging what free market economy has proven over the last seven years: That the more you pay for SAT tutoring, the higher your score is. Yes, there are exceptions: The kid who was going to get a perfect score no matter what. But that kid didn’t even need the SAT, did she?
So rich kids do better on the SAT because of the obscure vocabulary words that you can only find in SAT prep courses. (Which will now be scrubbed from the exam.) And rich kids do better on the opening essay portion, which is full of fabricated stories posing as personal history and factually incorrect data because rich kids know you don’t get penalized for saying things like the Civil War happened in 1760 instead of 1860 . (The opening essay portion will be killed off as well.)
Finally people acknowledge how college preparation is fairly easily purchased, and has little to do with regular school. After all, the only way the SAT can give equal chances to kids in low performing and high performing schools is to have little to do with what kids learn in school.
It was a noble attempt at evening the playing field, but, like all attempts at evening the playing field in this country, the rich people bought themselves a new field. And, I admit that every day we spend in the goat barn while school kids are learning math, I tell myself: don’t worry, we can pay someone to teach the kids to ace the SAT.
But now that won’t be the case. Because now there will be a new SAT that focuses much more on the common core.
And thus the SAT will make itself irrelevant to the rich kids at private schools because the majority of those schools opted out of the test-centric, standards-obsessed core. And we all know what happens to a test that is irrelevant to the rich kids: You can start ignoring it right now, no matter how rich you are, because it’s only a matter of time before the SAT is finished. In fact, NPR points out that the slide to total obsolescence started earlier this year when 800 of 3000 colleges accepting the SAT said it would no longer be required.
This is good news for homeschoolers, of course. Because if you allow your kid to learn what they are interested in, he or she is likely to do very well in an admissions process that looks for people with a passion. And once the last vestige of the most vaunted standardized test disappear, the only thing we’ll have left for measuring student aptitude is their ability to find a passion and their ability to act on it. And suddenly our goat barn looks more like college prep than ever before.