Chaos. That’s the effect Covid-19 has had on America’s system of higher education, which was already struggling before the pandemic. One need look no further than the current state of affairs at the College Board, long regarded as an impenetrable fortress among the ivory towers. Its core product, the SAT, has set the standard for college admissions for more than five decades. Few realize it, but the New York City-based organization that offers the SAT and Advanced Placement tests is a nonprofit that operates as a near monopoly. Its tests, which have a stranglehold on their student-customers, fuel more than $1 billion in annual revenue and $100 million in untaxed surplus. It has $400 million invested with hedge funds and private equity, and its chief executive, McKinsey-trained David Coleman, 50, pulls down compensation of almost $2 million a year. Interviews with more than 75 people expose the deep problems threatening the College Board’s billion-dollar testing monopoly. The great-granddaddy of standardized tests may not survive.
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