If the SAT and ACT are aligned to Common Core, then private schools will have little choice but to align as well. Tuthill calls this “voluntary” for private schools but the choice is between adopting Common Core or putting your school’s students at a disadvantage on these tests relative to students from other schools. Of course, lower average performance on tests like the SAT means a decreased probability of students getting into their preferred college, which will translate into fewer students attending your school.
In other words, parents and schools are not “embracing” the standards because they think they’re good, but rather because the standards are becoming the only viable path for their children to go to a good college. “If college entrance exams are Common-Core-ized,” explained Greg Forster, “it will be virtually impossible for private schools and homeschoolers to maintain any kind of alternative to the One Best Way.” That wouldn’t be a problem if there were a One Best Way in education, but there isn’t.
It’s really amazing the extent to which those in charge of the assessments drive what happens in classrooms, and now, it appears, homes as well. And this has been the master plan all along. Does anyone except those with a financial interest in standardization feel good about this? Really?
Related: The number of SAT optional 4-year colleges is now up to 850.