Will Christian and/or Conservative Views
Expressed on "Essay-T" Yield Lower Scores?
The evidence mounts

by Charles R Lewis

Beginning in March, 2005, a radically altered version of the SAT will be introduced, permanently replacing the familiar, though much-modified, edition currently being administered. The ubiquitous quantitative comparison and analogy sections will disappear. The test will ostensibly cease to measure aptitude and instead concentrate on "achievement" - in the sense, apparently, of mastery of material from what the president of the SAT's College Board is openly promoting as a "national curriculum."

That president, Gaston Caperton, is the former Democratic Governor of West Virginia, and is a longtime close associate of Richard Riley, Secretary of Education under President Clinton. During that administration, Riley helped introduce and administer the "Goals 2000" program, which (both then and in its current incarnation as "No Child Left Behind") has pressured states (as usual, to the tune of huge amounts of taxpayer-coerced monies dependent on implementation) to institute just such a national curriculum.

This is a curriculum that consistently values specific student attitudes over knowledge, and promotes a pervasive (interdisciplinary) civics component rooted in multiculturalist, radical environmentalist, globalist, and Marxist-economic ideals. Ignoring or demeaning such concepts as inalienable God-given rights, the curriculum places the UN's Declaration of Human Rights - where "rights" are assumed to be the product of governmental largesse - on an equal or superior footing to the American U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, many crucial elements of which it entirely ignores. (See author's previous articles.)

In this context of this de facto national curriculum - as well as the shift in emphasis from aptitude to (the more subjective) "achievement" evidently based on that curriculum, the new SAT's most conspicuous change - the addition of a third section consisting of an essay - is of particular concern. In "The 'New' SAT and the Movement toward a National Curriculum," this writer expressed this concern, regarding the possibility that grading of this section will be skewed toward acceptance of the (highly questionable) principles of that curriculum. (This trepidation was independent of natural paranoia about a national organization led by a politician keeping records on the political opinions of millions of Americans - along with the myriad possibilities of abuse of this data.)

Later, in "New 'Essay-T'Presents Troubling Scenario," the bad news that the topics of required essays would indeed be issue-oriented was revealed, compounding the probability that a piece's degree of "political correctness" might influence scoring.
Since the publication of that latter piece, more information has trickled in. A somewhat clearer picture of the new essay section has emerged. For one thing, various web sites have published sample essay questions, which have encompassed a mixed bag of the innocuous and the provocative.

A Kaplan site, for example, offers an overtly loaded essay assignment. The testee must comment on the statement, "Some people believe that war is never justified. Other people believe that war is justified under certain circumstances." The sample essay provided contains the following unsettling final paragraph:

"There should be a World Court to peacefully mediate disputes between countries or groups of people. The United Nations has tried to fulfill this role for 50 years, but doesn't have enough power to enforce its decisions. If we had a global organization powerful enough to do so we might have a world with only justified wars, or, better still, no wars at all."

While the essay is given a score (by Kaplan personnel) of only 4 out of 6 possible points (designating it as "competent, demonstrating adequate mastery"), it is worth noting that the sentiments expressed here vividly reflect the authoritarian one world ideology that is at the core of the "new civics" curriculum. And, according to the grader, "the last sentence ends the essay with a very satisfying bang!"

This sort of anecdotal evidence can provide a flavor of what to expect, but we will have to await the March initiation of the new exam - followed a few weeks later by the influx of results - for a more concrete picture. We need, especially, to watch the comparative scores of the current group of juniors and seniors who will be have taken at least one edition of each of the two exams (old-style and "New SAT"). For those who can be determined to have given "politically incorrect" or "faith-based" responses, an alarm should go off if scores on the later version are significantly lower than scores on the prior.

One would assume than someone who takes the test a second time would score higher, not lower, the second time around. If the counterintuitive occurs in such cases, we need to ask why.

We stand on the verge of the real possibility that Christians and American patriots - already marginalized in most American colleges and government schools - may be eliminated entirely from contention for admission to the country's most important institutions of higher learning. Once such a transition in accomplished, it is a relatively short step to outright retribution for expressing thoughts in keeping with the American Judeo-Christian ethic. The "Essay-T," "new civics," the national curriculum, and related initiatives threaten all future generations of our youth. Only an aggressive, concerted effort can head off this calamity.