The following comes from a December 14 Cardinal Newman Society article by Adam Cassandra:
David Coleman, president of the company responsible for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams and a chief architect of the controversial Common Core Standards, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an exclusive interview that students educated in traditional Catholic schools have nothing to fear about the Common Core-driven changes to the SAT and AP exams.
Moreover, Coleman praised religious liberal arts schools, and even the new trend toward classical Catholic schools and homeschooling, insisting that the Common Core Standards should not be a reason for Catholic educators to abandon what is unique about a traditional Catholic education.
Coleman’s assurances respond to deep concerns in the Catholic community about the ability of Catholic school students to compete for college admission unless Catholic schools change their time-honored curricula to conform to the Common Core. Already many Catholic dioceses have embraced the Common Core standards, arguing that it is necessary to keep pace with the reforms in public schools and with changes to college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.
But The Cardinal Newman Society, working with parents and education experts, has expressed concerns about the Common Core’s utilitarian emphasis on career preparation and college skills potentially diminishing the distinctive Catholic identity and liberal arts emphasis of traditional Catholic schooling.
The Newman Society asked Coleman about the new, Common Core-aligned SAT to be launched in March 2016 and whether the changes are going to negatively impact Catholic school students who continue to receive a classical liberal arts education. Coleman said that the SAT is not being geared exclusively toward career skills, but that changes made, at least specifically in terms of the reading texts chosen, have “a much deeper resonate value.”
According to Coleman, such revisions to The College Board tests will reward “the traditional trainings of a religious education.”
The National Catholic Educational Association has again invited Coleman to speak to Catholic educators, this time to give the keynote address at its annual convention next March in San Diego, where the association is offering several workshops on Common Core. That news prompted the Newman Society to request an interview with Coleman. The National Catholic Educational Association has helped Catholic schools implement the Common Core and accepted a large grant in 2013 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support Common Core training and materials.