David Coleman, one of the main writers of the Common Core, has been appointed president of the College Board and will take his post in October. His new position will involve a continued focus on college readiness, as well as some role in ensuring that the Common Core is reflected in the exams and curricula administered by the College Board—namely, the SAT and Advanced Placement programs.
“The main thing on the College Board’s agenda is to deliver its social mission. The College Board is not just about measuring and testing, but designing high-quality curriculum,” he said in a recent interview.
Many education leaders across the country have voiced their support for Coleman’s appointment, including Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and US Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
With the possibility that the Common Core could be adopted by all 50 states, it is not unthinkable that college admission tests like the SAT could become irrelevant. That being the case, the College Board has been placing increased emphasis on its Advanced Placement program. In a post-appointment interview, Coleman spent more time talking about the AP program than of any other aspect of the College Board’s work.
Mr. Coleman’s appointment has also faced criticism. Stephen Krashen, an emeritus education professor at the University of Southern California, has openly criticized the Common Core movement and standardized testing. “The problem is poverty, poverty, poverty…even the best tests, the most inspiring teachers, won’t mean anything if the kids don’t have enough to eat,” he says. Coleman has also been criticized for putting too much emphasis on “informational texts” over fiction and for his push for students to write fewer personal and opinion pieces.
Overall, Mr. Coleman has emphasized the enthusiasm in many circles with which the Common Core has been greeted. “The degree of consensus is remarkable. I think a lot of my success has been my ability to work with teachers.”
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