College Board's August 25th, 2018 Debacle

I keep bemoaning the challenges the College Board has faced recently with the June 2018 Math scoring and the credibility of the SAT essay; now, add one more blunder to the ever growing list: the August 25th administration of the SAT. 

According to the August 27th article in Inside Higher Ed (

“An official of a test-prep company in the United States, asking for anonymity because he did not want to offend the College Board, said one of his clients told him that he had access to the complete test online, and that questions were available in Asia. His client was an Asian student who traveled to the United States to take the exam.

"He told me he'd practiced on the complete test," the test-prep official said. "He wasn't sure about all of the answers, though. With the leaked tests, there are often either no answer keys or untrustworthy ones put together by the test pirates. He sent me a part of the leaked test to prove he was telling the truth."

Another test-prep official, also requesting anonymity, said he and his students were concerned about the situation.

"If it is true that College Board allowed questions from a previously leaked SAT to be used on August 25, then this action effectively invalidates the August 25 test as a legitimate standardized test," he said. "One would think that College Board would be smart enough to check which of its tests have been leaked to the public before allowing them to be used on real test administrations. Either they don't care that some students have gained an advantage on their test through cheating, or they are too lazy or too incompetent to figure out how to find out which of their tests have been compromised and leaked to the public. Whatever the case may be, College Board is doing a lousy job protecting the fairness of the SAT."

Test-prep officials embrace the concept of the SAT. But the reports about the leaked exam have critics of the College Board, those who doubt the fairness of the SAT to start with, saying that their concerns are growing.”

An organization like the College Board needs accountability. The current president and CEO, David Coleman, was the architect behind the Common Core State Standards Initiative (in many opinions a dismal failure of the highest order), the restructuring of the SAT around the common core (in essence duplicating what the ACT had already achieved 6 decades ago), and the restructuring of the SAT essay (which is now rejected by dozens of colleges as void of any merit in measuring writing abilities). If on top of this dubious list of activities we add the inability of the College Board to administer a secure, fair and reliable exam to millions of students worldwide banking their futures on the outcome, we must conclude that it’s time for David Coleman to look for a new position elsewhere. His performance speaks for itself: we don’t need to know his SAT scores.