- The State University System of Florida is seeking to add the Classic Learning Test as an admissions option for students applying to any of its 12 institutions.
- The CLT evaluates students on English and mathematics, similar to the more-common SAT and ACT entrance exams. But the CLT is designed around “the perennial truths of the great classical and Christian tradition,” according to a since-deleted tweet from a CLT academic adviser. The CLT is administered by Classic Learning Initiatives, a Maryland-based education company.
- The system’s board of governors announced the potential policy change , which would still allow students to submit SAT or ACT scores, at a meeting Wednesday. The board could approve it as soon as August.
Florida Republicans, led by Gov. Ron DeSantis, have condemned the higher education sector for what they’ve described as “wokeness” and a left-learning agenda. In recent months, DeSantis has undertaken legislative efforts to remake the state’s education system, attempting to restrict faculty tenure and banning diversity, equity and inclusion programs at public colleges.
In May, Florida became the first state to fund the CLT in all of its K-12 school districts. It also began allowing students to qualify for its tax-funded Bright Futures Scholarships by submitting CLT scores.
The New College of Florida, a testing ground of sorts for DeSantis, announced it would accept CLT scores beginning in fall 2024, making it the state’s first public college to do so.
Richard Corcoran, New College’s interim president and a DeSantis ally, praised the CLT as “an exciting step for educational choice and freedom” and cited its popularity with Florida homeschoolers and classically educated students in a May statement.
The State University System of Florida would be different from most of the roughly 200 higher ed institutions that currently accept the CLT, according to the testmaker’s website.
“CLT Partner Colleges tend to be private, liberal arts, or faith-based colleges which share our mission to reconnect knowledge and virtue in the classroom,” it said.
Student testimonials on the website credit the CLT with helping secure them admission into Liberty University and Hillsdale College, two prominent conservative Christian institutions.
The board of governors’ move comes as Florida continues to fight with the College Board over subject matter in the company’s Advanced Placement exams. The College Board also administers the SAT.