April 6, 2016

The New SAT & A Pacifica Education

Dear Pacifica Families & Students,

This week I attended a symposium with fellow Christian school leaders hosted by David Coleman, President of the the College Board (which provides the SAT and AP Exams) and architect of the Common Core State Standards. I was particularly interested on how the changes in the new SAT would impact Pacifica students given our curriculum’s rootedness in the liberal arts, rather than the Common Core. I was delighted to hear Coleman’s endorsement of a liberal arts education with comments such as, “A child excellently trained in the traditional liberal arts will do superbly…on the new SAT and other aspects of Advanced Placement work.”

The meeting further clarified that a Pacifica education will prepare students for the new SAT as a result of the following:

  • The essay prompts on the new SAT use primary-source documents, which Pacifica students read daily
  • The new SAT emphasizes the analyzing of texts, which Pacifica students practice routinely in Socratic seminars
  • Students are asked to write arguments and support claims with evidence from a text on the new SAT, which is an emphasis in Pacifica’s writing program
  • Pacifica promotes quantitative reasoning through complex problem solving in mathematics routinely, which is the emphasis for the math section on the new SAT

Ben RobersonIt is refreshing to hear that even the architect of the Common Core and President of the College Board is insistent that we have the moxie to retain our identity as a liberal arts & sciences high school.  More importantly than good SAT scores, I would add, is that a Pacifica education provides formation of the whole person–mind and heart–into a robust and authentically free person.

With grace and truth,

Dr. Ben Roberson

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