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Florida’s University System Adopts Conservative Alternative To SAT, ACT For College Admissions

Florida’s higher education system rejected more wokeism on Friday by accepting the “Classic Learning Test” as an alternative college-admissions exam.
Stetson University (File Photo)

Florida’s higher education system rejected more wokeism on Friday by accepting the “Classic Learning Test” as an alternative college-admissions exam.

The state Board of Governors voted overwhelmingly to make the Sunshine State the first state to include the CLT as an entrance-evaluation tool for students and university officials alongside the SAT and the ACT.

“It’s official. The Board of Governors in Florida just approved CLT. This means adoption at the University of Florida and Florida State and the entire public university system. I am grateful beyond words to everyone who worked to make this happen over the past 8 years,” Jeremy Tate, the creator of the CLT, said Friday on X (formerly Twitter).

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According to The Florida Standard, Amanda Phalin from the University of Florida was the only board member who rejected adopting the CLT.

“I oppose the use of [CLT] at this time because we don’t have the empirical evidence that this assessment is of the quality as the ACT and the SAT,” Phalin said prior to the vote.

In contrast, Ray Rodrigues, chancellor of the State University System, said in a statement that the test aligns with the goals of a “classical” education.

“The CLT places a strong emphasis on classical education, which includes a focus on reading, writing, and critical thinking skills,” said Rordigues. “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.”

The Hill noted that 14 governors who supported using the CLT were appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In a statement issued by the board, they said, “The [university] system is pleased to add the CLT to reach a wider variety of students from different educational backgrounds. Because we reject the status quo, today’s decision means we are better serving students by giving them an opportunity to showcase their academic potential and paving the path to higher education.”

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Christopher Rufo, a journalist who has extensively covered schoolhouse and workplace wokeism and was earlier this year named by DeSantis as one of six new conservative trustees over New College in Sarasota, suggested liberals actually helped the CLT’s prominence.

“A big thank-you to all of the rabid ideologues in the public education system who created the conditions for these much-needed reforms!” Rufo posted on X in response to Tate.

As the Tampa Free Press reported in July, after DeSantis, GOP state lawmakers and the state Board of Education green-lit the CLT, the adoption of the CLT has emerged from the state’s battles with the left-leaning College Board, which administers the SAT and high school Advanced Placement classes nationwide.

The governor has criticized the College Board from emphasizing ideology over scholarship, and argued that the company simply offers services that can be replaced with another vendor’s products.   

As Tate told the Standard at the time, “The College Board is a pretty radical organization. They don’t try to hide it. They’re very much one-sided [politically]. Most of the source material leans heavily into 20th century progressives and they really ignore the Western intellectual tradition that was foundational for America.”

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