• Beth & Tim Manners

Code Language: AP & SAT Re-think Knowledge

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

Thomas Friedman: “A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master ‘two codes’ — computer science and the U.S. Constitution. Since then they’ve been adapting the SATs and the College Board’s Advanced Placement program to inspire and measure knowledge of both.”


“So rather than have SAT exams and Advanced Placement courses based on things that you cram for and forget, they are shifting them, where they can, to promote the ‘two codes.’ In 2016, the College Board completely revamped its approach to A.P. computer science courses and exams … starting with the question: What is it that you’d like to do in the world? Music? Art? Science? Business? Great! Then come build an app in the furtherance of that interest and learn the principles of computer science, not just coding … The new course debuted in 2016. Enrollment was the largest for a new course in the history of Advanced Placement, with just over 44,000 students nationwide.”


“The A.P. U.S. Government and Politics course also was reworked” based on the premise that “it was essential that every student entering college actually have command of the First Amendment, which enshrines five freedoms, not just freedom of speech” but also of “assembly, petition, press and religion … So the new A.P. government course is built on an in-depth look at 15 Supreme Court cases as well as nine foundational documents that every young American should know. It shows how the words of the Constitution give rise to the structures of our government … That said to students and teachers something the SAT had never dared say before: Some content is disproportionately more powerful and important, and if you prepare for it you will be rewarded on the SAT.”

© 2020 by The Manners Group.

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