How Common Core and The New SAT Lower College Standards in the U.S.

imagePioneer Institute released this week another white paper.  The paper entitled “The Revenge of K-12: How Common Core and the New SAT Lower College Standards in the U.S.” was authored by Richard Phelps and James Milgram.

Pioneer’s description of the paper:

This white paper presents evidence that Common Core math standards’ (CCMS) weak Algebra II course will result in fewer high school students able to study higher-level math and science courses and an increase in credit-bearing college courses that are at the level of seventh and eighth grade material in high-achieving countries. However, the greatest harm to higher education may accrue from the alignment of the SAT to Common Core’s high school standards, converting the SAT from an adaptable test predictive of college work to an inflexible retrospective test aligned to and locking in a low level of mathematics. This means that future SAT scores will be less informative to college admission counselors than they now are, and that the SAT will lose its role in locating students with high STEM potential in high schools with weak mathematics and science instruction.

Here are the bios for the authors:

Richard P. Phelps is editor or author of four books—Correcting Fallacies about Educational and Psychological Testing (APA, 2008/2009);Standardized Testing Primer (Peter Lang, 2007); Defending Standardized Testing (Psychology Press, 2005); and Kill the Messenger (Transaction, 2003, 2005)—and founder of the Nonpartisan Education Review (

R. James Milgram is professor of mathematics emeritus, Stanford University. He was a member of Common Core’s Validation Committee 2009–2010. Aside from writing and editing a large number of graduate level books on research level mathematics, he has also served on the NASA Advisory Board – the only mathematician to have ever served on this board, and has held a number of the most prestigious professorships in the world, including the Gauss Professorship in Germany.

You can download the paper here or read it below.