The Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida has voted to accept the Classic Learning Test (CLT), a controversial alternative to the SAT and ACT, for admissions to its 12 campuses starting this fall.
Florida is the first state to approve this exam, which focuses on the “classical” Western and Christian canon and has been primarily used by Christian colleges and select private institutions until now.
The vote passed 13 to 1, with one faculty representative opposing it, expressing concerns about the CLT’s comparability to the SAT and ACT.
Florida’s move to accept the CLT follows recent legislative changes and a broader shift in the state’s higher education landscape.
In May, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill requiring the state-funded Bright Futures Scholarship to accept the CLT, encouraging institutions attended by Bright Futures recipients to follow suit.
Classic Learning Test (CLT) gains acceptance
The New College of Florida, a liberal arts campus in the state university system, had already announced its acceptance of the CLT.
System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues emphasized the benefits of the CLT, citing its ability to engage more students and welcoming changes to the admissions process.
However, critics argue that the CLT places too much emphasis on biblical passages and traditional Western thought, with most represented authors being white men with controversial views on various issues.
They view the CLT as ideologically biased. CLT’s founder, Jeremy Tate, defended the exam, stating that it measures aptitude similarly to the SAT, although its content differs.
The College Board, which administers the SAT, expressed concerns about the CLT’s concordance study and disputed its comparability to the SAT.
Critics also call for data collection on educational outcomes of students admitted with the CLT to determine its effectiveness as an alternative standardized test.