College Board to Combine Forces with Progressive Atlantic

College Board to Combine Forces with Progressive Atlantic

AUSTIN, TEXAS–David Coleman, president and CEO of the College Board, announced a partnership between the College Board and The Atlantic, the progressive periodical Wednesday at the SXSWedu 2014 conference. 

He said, “The Atlantic has a proud history as a home to great fiction and non-fiction more than 150 years. We have decided to partner with them to create a set of prizes modeled after the Pulitzer Prize for the best student analytical writing in this country, in different categories and publish the best of them.”

He made this somewhat soft announcement following a panel discussion on analytical writing as the skill to change the world. Also on the panel was LBJ biographer Robert Caro and Atlantic writer Peg Tyre, whose Writing Revolution was the centerpiece story of a discussion on the transformation low-performing New Dorp’s high school on Staten Island, NY. According to Tyre, only middle class and privileged parents demand that their children learn to write, or even get the opportunity to learn to do so in public school.

Coleman, a fan of Pulitzer Prize winning Caro’s work, exalted the argumentative essay and informational writing to the kind of writing he wants to see “rival the prose of great literature,” the 21st Century solution to whatever lies ahead.

Coleman’s only comments about the partnership were “you’ll hear much more in the months ahead about the College Board’s commitment to analytical writing as a force of learning not just within an English Language Arts classroom but, of course, in science, within social studies, within the arts, it is one of the most powerful master arts that reverberates throughout all the arts.

Coleman added “know that this College Board, our trustees, our member colleges are united in the notion that for students to write with care, to write analytically, to gather evidence, is perhaps the single most or at least a cardinal part of the preparation for college, for career, for future work.” 

The College Board is a non-profit association in the United States that was founded 1900. Today, it has over 6,000 members some of which are leading higher educational institutions. According to their website, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs in the United States and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. They also serve the education community through research and advocacy.

American students take the SAT, one of the college and career ready college admission exams administered through the College Board. Originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it is only known as the shortened “SAT” today. The College Board is currently aligning the SAT to the federal mandate, the Common Core State Standards. The revamped SAT is expected to be ready in 2016.

This applies to Texas students as well. Even though Texas is a non-Common Core state, high school students still take the same national exams as their Common Core affiliated peers across the nation. 

In addition to the SAT and AP, there are other college readiness tests that students take in all 50 states. They include the PSAT, ACT, NMSQT, and CLEP. Breitbart Texas reported on the ties to current Texas college and career ready high school testing and the College Board aligned assessments.

As the narrative of the controversial college and career readiness standards have been riddled with historical errors and bias, the evidence gathering prerequisite and analytical thinking alluded to by Coleman may well net a very transformational outcome.  Later in the day, at an unrelated event, Coleman announced that the SAT essay portion will become optional.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom