June 19, 2015 Radio Commentary

GOP Resolution Challenges College Board Monopoly

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, June 19, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

The College Board’s Advanced Placement U.S. History course got much-needed attention at the State Republican Party Convention in Athens on May 16th. Opposition to the new course prompted Republicans to pass a resolution explaining why the course should be rewritten or completely replaced.

The major problem is the College Board monopoly over course work and testing for college bound students in the United States and other countries. As a private nonprofit corporation, the College Board is not accountable to the public, although it develops, administers, and owns standardized tests and curricula used in public schools K – 12 and beyond.

That means, the trademarked Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), which is privately developed and beyond parental influence, is used to screen most high school juniors and seniors for college, and parents pay extra for the test. Parents who have no influence on the test or content of the course were charged $98.50 for their child to be tested on June 2nd and another $31.90 for the study guide. The College Board derives additional revenue from selling study guides, tools and services to students, parents, colleges and universities, and from private donations.Since approximately 14,000 Georgia students take Advanced Placement U.S. History every year, parents are concerned about the leftwing tilt of the new course that no longer presents a balanced view of American history. It appears to be merging the Common Core approach into all Advanced Placement coursework, thereby emphasizing skill sets and so-called critical thinking skills, and minimizing academic achievement and true core knowledge.

Because state taxes pay for professional development programs, textbooks, and Advanced Placement testing, Georgia taxpayers and students deserve and expect better choices in each of those fields. Meaning, the College Board monopoly should be replaced with appropriate competition.

Considering the facts, Georgia Republican Party Convention Delegates recommend that the State Board of Education instruct the College Board to more closely align the Advanced Placement test to its former traditional approach that respects and allows Georgia Performance Standards to Social Studies to be incorporated into classroom teaching, with special emphasis on America’s founding principles and the uniqueness of America’s role in the world.

Governor Deal is encouraged to contact other governors in select states to join Georgia efforts to expand competition in advanced subject coursework and testing for college credit. The Governor, Lt. Governor, and other appropriate Republican officials will receive a copy of the resolution and, hopefully, they will respond affirmatively. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.