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Indiana’s Sneaky SAT Agenda and the College Board

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By Doug
Martin 

In
but any other sneak assault on Indiana public training and communities, the State
Board of Education’s Graduation Pathways Panel, in a transfer to do away with the
abusive and redundant end-of-course exams, “has
advisable that scholars
take the SAT, ACT or a identical school front examination as an alternative” so as to
end highschool, a transfer which might take a seat neatly with Hoosier Republican
lawmaker and previous Indiana State Board of Education
member, Todd Huston, who’s now Senior Vice President of
State and District Partnerships at the College Board— the proprietor of
SAT.   

The Graduation Pathways Panel is chaired by means of Byron Ernest, the state board of
training member who just lately resigned as chief of Okay12, Inc’s “beleaguered
Hoosier Academies constitution college community amid
state sanctions because of years
of failing teachers.”

Concerning
the SAT advice, the South Bend
Tribune
notes: “The
exchange was once presented to
the draft proposal not up to an afternoon earlier than the panel voted to ship it to the
state Board of Education. While different portions of the plan were to be had for
public remark for weeks, few colleges, lecturers or households were ready to present
enter about the examination requirement exchange.” The State Board will vote subsequent month
on new commencement necessities, and state lawmakers “
would then codify the
plan in the 2018 consultation.” The new suggestions, if licensed, will get started
with the magnificence of 2023. 
Since
the U.S. Department of Education has declared that “
Indiana will
now not have the ability to come with scholars who earn the common degree in
calculating college commencement charges,”
30 % of
the ones being particular wishes scholars,
the State Board, if truth be told, is including
any other attack by means of proposing an examination which can weaken colleges’
commencement passing charges and high them for conceivable takeover by means of constitution college operators. 

And then there’s Todd Huston and the College Board.  Huston, who has won $36,000
from the DeVos-Walton funded Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC and $2,500
from Charter Schools USA, in conjunction with $1,000
from Michelle Rhee’s Students First PAC, was once one in all Al Hubbard’s “GOP Powerbrokers”
who met privately years in the past to hash out the Indiana college privatization plan
earlier than any regulations had been presented.

Not
simplest is Huston paid handsomely by means of the College Board—for which he’s indexed as a
lobbyist
in New York—raking in $325,433 in the length
from July 1, 2013 to June 31, 2014, with $47,000 indexed as further repayment
from the group and different similar organizations, he promotes Silicon
Valley’s on-line future-of-schools schedule by means of convincing colleges to make use of “the
SAT Suite of
Assessments to present scholars an opportunity to turn their absolute best paintings and get well
effects with gear like Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy®,”  a device which now has the blessing of
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, whose Zuckerberg Initiative, in partnership with
the College Board, seeks to present “
scholars in lower-income
communities and rural spaces larger get right of entry to to school pathway advisors and SAT
prep mediums like
Official SAT
Practice on Khan Academy
. 

Huston and the College Board each settle for edtech’s dream of a destiny training
machine the place there are not any college structures, Huston telling the media a couple of
years in the past that “educators will have to remake the
highschool day to meet up with evolving applied sciences and strategies.”  In 2016, unsurprisingly, Okay12 Management, the
on-line company from Herndon, Virginia, passed
Huston’s marketing campaign $500.

Huston
may be the previous Indiana Charter School Board member who, after leaving his task
as Tony Bennett’s leader of personnel, went again to his outdated task with Cisco
Systems.  Bennett, in flip, then used
$1.7 million of state cash to
acquire video-conferencing apparatus from Cisco which wasn’t used.  Some of the apparatus was once by no means even
delivered.

 

David Coleman, the chief of the College Board and the grasp
at the back of the Bill Gates-funded Common Core, gave Huston $10,000
for his 2012 Indiana House marketing campaign and Tony Bennett won $2,500
from Coleman the similar 12 months. 
   
Lewis Ferebee, the Indianapolis Public Schools supt., has been a member of the
College Board’s board of trustees since November 2015.  

In 2017, the College Board’s board of
trustees was once extremely criticized by means of nonprofit governance professionals for now not doing
anything else to rein in “the College
Board, which had about $77 million in annual benefit and $916 million in income
in 2015” and a complete slew of issues in 2016. 
As Reuters
notes in 2016, there have been “dishonest rings in Asia that exploit safety weaknesses in
the SAT
 and permit some scholars to realize unfair benefits on
the examination.”  In 2016, a  “large safety breach” uncovered round 400 questions “for
upcoming SATs,” and College Board participants knew redesigned check “was once overloaded with wordy math questions, a
downside that handicaps non-native English audio system and reinforces race and
revenue disparities that Coleman has vowed to decrease.” Lloyd Thacker, from the Education Conservancy, requested “What
is the mechanism that holds them responsible? I’m scratching my head.  There doesn’t appear to be a countervailing
voice right here in any respect.”  Reuters
discovered that many trustees had been despatched an electronic mail in 2015 telling them to not do
interviews with the information outlet regarding the SAT.  

In July
2017
, San Diego’s college board took felony motion in opposition to the College Board
“after the Advanced Placement assessments of greater than 500 of the town’s highschool
scholars had been declared invalid as a result of their seats had been too shut in combination.”  The College Board didn’t notify Scripps Ranch
High, the place the check was once given, about its new seating association protocol,
consistent with the college, “until two days before the testing.”

The College Board has a historical past of questionable practices.  In 2008, it settled with
New York legal professional common Andrew Cuomo’s workplace after an investigation discovered
that the College Board was once operating a kickback scheme the place “the College Board,
which evolved and advertised a large number of merchandise and services and products associated with pupil
monetary help, gave important reductions on the ones merchandise and services and products
to positive faculties which agreed to position the College Board’s loans on their
‘most popular lender’ checklist. This successfully directed scholars against loans that
will not be the absolute best or least dear possibility for them.”  The College Board “is no longer a lender,” for
different unrelated causes, “even supposing it continues to offer monetary help
advisement services and products to scholars,” ABC
News
wrote at the time.

The College Board, too, got here underneath fireplace for now not giving higher oversight when a dishonest scandal in New York in 2011 led lawmakers to invite questions,
and in June
2015
, a printing error which gave some SAT takers additional time to complete
sections of the check concerned 487,000 scholars. 
 

The
College Board (and the makers of ACT) promote
your youngsters’s information freely.  Both had been
sued, and received, in a case filed in federal court docket just lately.  As the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy’s
Rachael Stickland and Leonie Haimson write,
scholars, whilst taking the SAT, could also be requested at hand over private data
(which would possibly come with social safety quantity, “grade
level reasonable, spiritual association, ethnicity, family members revenue, pursuits,
citizenship, disabilities  and extra”) on an opt-in questionnaire and click on
a field which says they comply with be part of the College Board’s Student Search
Service. The College Board and ACT then promote a few of the data to
faculties and universities, which will use the information in opposition to scholars making use of for
admission.  Although the College Board
would now not reveal how a lot it makes from such data, POLITICO says that “ACT’s income
generated from promoting pupil profiles had been roughly $15 million in
2012.”  The College Board, consistent with
data on its web page,
sells pupil private data at 43
cents
in line with call. According to fresh data on the College Board web page,
the social safety numbers, incapacity
data, grades, rankings, and parental revenue are off
limits
), however Politico, in 2014, wrote that those bought “
profiles can come with details about the scholars’ grades and
educational coursework — and additionally faith, ethnicity, citizenship standing
and anticipated want for monetary help in school. The ACT additionally we could
shoppers filter out pupil profiles by means of family members revenue, folks’ training
ranges and pupil disabilities.”

A
lot of Indiana taxpayer cash will probably be wasted on
SAT charges, if this factor is going
thru.  According to Eric
Weddle, the “state training division has estimated a $five million value
for each and every highschool pupil to take the SAT or ACT.”  Although the exact value of the adjustments being
proposed is unknown, “the panel have shyed away from answering considerations from native districts
about the fiscal have an effect on.” Bob Behning “steered state businesses would put
in combination funds requests for the General Assembly if further finances are
required.” 

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