Florida set to introduce Classic Learning Test as alternative to SAT, ACT

The State University of Florida will likely approve the CLT to be considered for college admissions, making it the first state to fully endorse the emerging classical education test.

'We test a students’ ability to read something they disagree with without having a meltdown,' the test founder said.

Florida’s public universities may soon allow a new alternative college entrance exam designed to “reconnect knowledge and virtue by providing meaningful assessments and connections to seekers of truth, goodness, and beauty.

If approved by its Board of Governors on Friday, the State University System of Florida will be the first state public university system to allow scores from the Classic Learning Test (CLT) to be considered for college applicants, The New York Times reported

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”The State University System of Florida is the largest university system in the country that still requires an entrance exam as part of our admissions process,” Chancellor Ray Rodrigues of the State University System of Florida told Campus Reform“Our nationally ranked #1 system is never content to rest on our laurels, and we are always seeking ways to improve.” 

“The CLT places a strong emphasis on classical education, which includes a focus on reading, writing, and critical thinking skills,” Rodrigues added. “It is designed to align with a classical liberal arts curriculum, which some educators and institutions believe provides a more well-rounded and meaningful education.”

Launched in 2015, the CLT has rapidly been accepted by a growing list of over 250 universities and colleges such as Hillsdale College and Franciscan University. 

Although the CLT promotes a classical education, the test is designed to assess students from all types of schools and educations.

The ‘classic’ in Classic Learning Test refers to its use of the greatest and most enduring texts that have informed and shaped society,“ the CLT website states. “Although these texts are featured prominently in a classical education, CLT exams instead emphasize intellectual aptitude and achievement which is not limited to classical curricula.

In June, the CLT received approval from a committee of the Board of Governors to be an option for all 12 of Florida’s public universities, the Tampa Bay Times reported

Officially implementing the CLT would be the latest education victory for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis amid his ongoing dispute with the College Board, which oversees the SAT exam and Advanced Placement (AP) curricula.

In May, DeSantis signed into law a bill that allows students to use test scores from the CLT to qualify for Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarships.

Despite the test’s popularity among conservatives, CLT founder Jeremy Tate reemphasized on X in February that the test is not “right-wing,” even pointing to the fact that the CLT enables students to read from left-wing intellectuals like Karl Marx and Toni Morrison.

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“The difference between CLT and College Board is that they censor people of faith. CLT does not,” Tate said. “We test a students’ ability to read something they disagree with without having a meltdown.” 

The CLT Board of Academic Advisors also features Cornel West, a prominent liberal academic and contender for the Green Party 2024 presidential nomination. 

Campus Reform has contacted the Florida Board of Governors, Governor DeSantis, and Jeremy Tate for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.