March 6, 2014

Khan Academy Paid to Cozy Up With Common Core

I am shocked at the number of homeschoolers I know who are celebrating the news that “SAT to drop essay requirement and return to top score of 1600 in redesign of admission test”, and “College Board Outlines SAT Redesign It Says Will Be More 'Focused and Useful'”. These are people I know who have always stayed on top of what's going on the world of education and have until now, been impressively informed about Common Core; they are the ones who first educated ME on its existence! On the other hand we do have the Facebook groups talking about the connection: They Just Announced Major Changes to the SAT…and There’s a Tie to Common Core.

A comment I left on a friend's wall says “I'm so surprised at how many of my friends are posting this 'joyous' news and how Khan Academy will be offering free prep for it all. Homeschoolers and others have been fearful of the fact that the SAT was to have been aligned with Common Core, and now that it's here and packaged in a way that sounds all pretty, people are forgetting the reality: David Coleman is not only the president of the College Board, he is also one of the chief architects of Common Core. And he is aligning the SAT with Common Core, so of course it's going to end up easier, at least the ELA part. Let's just hope the math actually makes sense.

One of the above articles says Coleman said the New York-based organization will team with the nonprofit Khan Academy, which delivers free tutorials in math and other subjects via a popular web site of the same name, to provide free SAT prep for the world.” So when a friend posted a link to this, I took notice. That page contains a link to this video, which is a four minute conversation between Sal Khan and David Coleman, who is one of the “chief architects” of the Common Core. (Full disclosure: when I went to youtube to get the code to place it here I got this notice "This video is unlisted. Be considerate and think twice before sharing." But honestly I find it hard to be considerate in view of the information that follows.)

One thing I hadn't been able to shake in all this is David Coleman's statement that “The College Board cannot stand by while some test-prep providers intimidate parents at all levels of income into the belief that the only way they can secure their child’s success is to pay for costly test preparation and coaching. If we believe that assessment must be a force for equity and excellence, it’s time to shake things up.”

I mean, up until now it's been all about the money, hasn't it?

But then I had an “a-ha moment” and too easily searched for and found that Khan Academy has received over 10 million dollars in grants from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

And suddenly it all made sense.

1 comment:

  1. Coleman forgot to finish his sentence. "level ground for ......financially disadvantaged." Let's see David Coleman offer AP exams for free for ALL students to have a level ground.


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