After taking over the College Board in 2012, new CEO David Coleman circulated an internal memo laying out a “beautiful vision” for the new and improved SAT:
Literary passages for the new SAT should be “memorable and often beautiful,” he wrote, and students should be able to take the test by computer.
Finishing the redesign quickly was essential. If the overhaul were ready by March 2015, he wrote in a later email to senior employees, then the New York-based College Board could win new business and counter the most popular college entrance exam in America, the ACT.
Perhaps the biggest change was the new test’s focus on the Common Core, the controversial set of learning standards that Coleman himself helped create.
The roll-out hasn’t gone well. “It was a bad year, and I’m sorry,” Coleman said in September.