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What Will College Board's Partnership With Khan Academy Mean for the SAT?

What Will College Board's Partnership with Khan Academy Mean for the SAT?

The College Board has partnered with the free virtual educational service, Khan Academy, to offer free SAT preparation materials for high school students across the country in a move to give disadvantaged students equal opportunity.

Some experts argue that this partnership could potentially detract from authentic learning as the plan to incorporate the free materials into school curriculum could take away from traditional instruction. Others argue that the partnership will allow College Board to completely and totally dominate the market.

"The way the virtual prep materials will work is that the "company wants schools to track students’ progress from eighth to 12th grade using the 'SAT Suite of Assessments,' which will be largely paid for by schools and typically administered during the school day, thus ensuring high participation rates," said The Atlantic.com.

By incorporating the prep into classroom instruction, SAT prep could become a subject itself. Not to mention that many states are considering making SAT a school-day exam. "

Tutors typically recommend intense, compact preparation that detracts as little as possible from other educational pursuits and takes months not years. As Brendan Mernin, a founding tutor at Noodle.com, put it, 'The SAT is supposed to show what you got out of your schoolwork. It is not supposed to be the schoolwork,'" the article said.

Also discussed are the numerous partnerships College Board makes in order to promote more of its products in schools. Most recently, College Board partnered with Code.org to help high school create AP Computer Science courses next year in the booming study to help women and minorities in particular get involved. Only, however, "if schools 'commit to using the PSAT 8/9 equitably.'"

Further, the College Board is not only working its way into being a fixture in the country's classrooms, it could also have the potential to control student data.

"It will ... develop a larger pool of test-takers through the huge influx of student data—valuable information that could potentially be packaged and eventually sold to school districts and foundations."

In other words, though the College Board's initial goal is to help disadvantaged students through free and easily accessible virtual test prep available to classrooms everywhere, these changes will affect a large number potential test takers.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/12/2015

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