Florida state officials are weighing 'classical and Christian' alternative to the SAT: report
Florida officials have been holding talks to use the CLT as an alternative to the SAT, per the Miami Herald.
Jeremy Tate, the CLT's founder, told the Herald that the SAT had become "increasingly ideological."
The discussion over a new test comes as Gov. DeSantis floated ditching state support for AP courses.
Top Florida officials have been holding talks with the founder and chief executive of an education testing company that backers have said is centered on the "great classical and Christian tradition," according to The Miami Herald.
The potential of such a test being used in Florida has come into closer view as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has tussled with the College Board in recent weeks over the curriculum of its pilot Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course, with the governor on Tuesday floating the idea that the state could pull its support for the rigorous, college-level AP courses.
The Classic Learning Test, which is billed by Classic Learning Initiatives as being "steeped in content that is intellectually richer and more rigorous than other standardized tests and college entrance exams," is largely utilized in private schools and home-school environments.
Jeremy Tate, the founder, told the Herald that the test was intended to be an alternative to the SAT, which is administered by the College Board and has long been the standard in US high schools for students applying to colleges and universities. (In recent years, many universities have made the SAT optional, notably after the coronavirus pandemic.)
Tate told the newspaper that the SAT had become "increasingly ideological" partly because it had "censored the entire Christian-Catholic intellectual tradition."
On the testing company's site, it stated that Tate was working as a high school English instructor when he came to the conclusion that "transcendent, moral, and ethical ideas had been gutted from the classroom," with high-stakes testing being part of the reason.
Tate told the Herald that he had held meetings with Ray Rodrigues, the chancellor of the state university system of Florida, and lawmakers to see if they could make the test more readily available to high school students in the state.
"We're thrilled they like what we're doing," Tate told the Herald. "We're talking to people in the administration, again, really, almost every day right now."
DeSantis has not specifically mentioned the Classic Learning Test as one of the sources he had in mind as a SAT alternative, but he stated that he'd like to look at "other vendors."
Florida Department of Education Senior Chancellor Henry Mack on Thursday expressed interest in using the Classic Learning Test.
"Not only do we need to build anew by returning to the foundations of our democracy, but CLT also offers the opportunity for all our colleges & universities to rightsize their priorities," he said on Twitter.
Rodrigues confirmed with the Herald that he had talks with Classic Learning Test this week so he could get more information about the test.
"As you know the State University System is the largest university system in the country that still requires an entrance exam as part of our admissions process. We currently accept SAT and ACT. Adding another option for our students could be a method of improvement," Rodrigues told the Herald.
Tate told the Herald that conservatives may prefer the CLT, but he didn't want the assessment to become ideological.
"We don't want to be a Trumpy or conservative test," he said.
DeSantis' office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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