Florida University Board Accepts Classic Learning Test for College Admission Eligibility


In a groundbreaking decision, Florida’s Board of Governors cast their votes in favor of recognizing the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as valid proof of eligibility for college admissions. This move escalates Florida to the forefront as the first state university system to accept alternatives to the widely acknowledged SAT and ACT tests.

The CLT finds favor among Christian schools and politically conservative groups and has been in use since its inception in December 2015. As of now, more than 250 educational institutions around America acknowledge CLT scores, as claimed by the official CLT website.

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The decision to approve the CLT was an initiative from the 17-member panel governing Florida’s public universities, fourteen of whom were appointed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, under his ongoing mission to reform the existing education system in the state.

However, the approval did not come without opposition. Amanda Phalin, associate professor at the University of Florida and board member, expressed her reservations regarding the adoption of the CLT, citing the lack of empirical evidence proving its effectiveness in student admissions.

The CLT, a two-hour long, three-section exam covers verbal reasoning, grammar, writing, and quantitative reasoning, offering students their test scores on the day itself. In contrast, the ACT is nearly three hours long, and the SAT duration stretches to around three hours.

The selling point of the CLT, as its creators project, is its basis on the great works that built the edifice of Western intellectual culture, referencing authours from roughly 400 B.C. to current times. This deviates from the SAT and ACT’s inclination towards passages from recent decades.

A concordance report presented by the creators of the CLT in April established a comparison of the CLT with the SAT, stating a correlation between the two. However, the College Board, responsible for administering the SAT, claimed the two tests are distinct in structure and standards. The board found, after a preliminary examination, that both exams do not test on the same grade level for math.

The latest reform in Florida’s academia, the approval of the CLT, is part of a heated contest brewing between DeSantis and the College Board. Earlier in the year, changes were enforced on a new Advanced Placement (AP) course focused on African American studies, which had initially been blocked by The Florida Department of Education on grounds of contravening state law and uncertain educational value.

Even before the approval from the Board, the CLT had been making its way into Florida’s higher education system, being integrated into the state’s schooling districts and eligible for consideration in the awarding of state scholarships.

The laurels of being the first public university to recognize CLT scores for college admission go to the New College of Florida, whose Board of Trustees mainly consists of DeSantis-appointed conservatives. The college finds itself under the spotlight as the Republican presidential candidate for 2024 champions the eradication of “woke” indoctrination in Florida’s education system.