College & Workforce Readiness

Common-Standards Writer Named President of College Board

By Catherine Gewertz — May 16, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The College Board has announced a new president and chief executive officer: David Coleman, one of the lead writers of the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts.

The New York City-based organization made the announcement early this morning. Coleman will take over Oct. 15, replacing Gaston Caperton, who has served for 13 years as president of the organization best known for the SAT college-entrance exam and the Advanced Placement program.

Currently, Coleman is one of three founding partners of Student Achievement Partners, a New York City-based organization that played a leading role in crafting the academic standards that have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. His co-founders are Susan Pimentel, who served as a lead writer of the English/language arts standards, and Jason Zimba, a lead writer of the mathematics standards.

Coleman told Education Week that he hopes to align the SAT to reflect the common standards, a move that would help ensure, he said, that students who do well on the exam possess the skills that colleges and universities are seeking.

Student Achievement Partners recently reorganized itself as a nonprofit and won an $18 million grant from the GE Foundation to create a range of support materials for the common standards, as we reported to you in February.

The organization has stirred controversy with its “publishers’ criteria,” which are meant to guide publishers and teachers as they assemble materials for the new standards, but have touched off resentment in some quarters that they wade inappropriately into pedagogy. Those criteria have also fueled a debate about the role of prereading strategies in literacy instruction.

A key aim of the common standards, as you likely recall, is to make students ready for college and careers. While debate persists on precisely what constitutes college and career readiness, the standards articulate one vision of that readiness, and the U.S. Department of Education has granted $360 million to two groups of states that are designing assessments to reflect that vision.

Many colleges and universities have pledged support to the idea of allowing students who reach a “college readiness” cutoff on those “common assessments” to skip remedial work and enroll directly in credit-bearing, entrance-level courses. The tests are far from being ready, however, and that cutoff score has yet to be determined.

Aligning the SAT with the common core would touch on a piece of the college-readiness formula that higher education’s support of the common assessments does not reach, and it’s a highly sensitive piece: college admissions. Shifting the college-entrance exam to embody the new standards would involve the same significant shifts that mark the standards themselves.

Top education leaders—including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, a big fan of the common standards—are on record in the College Board’s press release as commending Coleman’s selection as the organization’s new leader.

Coleman’s biographical details are in the College Board’s press release. How his life and priorities reshape the work of the College Board in the coming years bears watching.

Photo: Courtesy Student Achievement Partners

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track?
Three proven strategies can support high school graduation and postsecondary success—during and after the pandemic.
Robert Balfanz
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of students making choices based on guidance.
Viktoria Kurpas/iStock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read