The Classical Learning Test (CLT) is gaining attention as an alternative to traditional standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, and Florida could be the first state to fully adopt it. With only about 200 colleges accepting CLT scores out of nearly 4,000 institutions, its popularity is growing in Christian and conservative circles. Jeremy Tate, the founder of CLT, believes that many are frustrated with the progressive agendas infiltrating mainstream education and see the need for an alternative.
The CLT is based on the classical education model and focuses on engaging students with important ideas, texts, and subjects, unlike high-stakes testing that may neglect deeper moral and ethical considerations. Instead of teaching to a test, CLT aims to inspire students with meaningful content that promotes critical thinking and intellectual aptitude. Tate’s experience as an English teacher showed that students were hungry for truth and meaning, which the CLT seeks to provide.
The upcoming Florida Board of Governors’ approval could mean that all public high schools in the state will adopt CLT in the fall, making it a significant step for educational choice and freedom. Moreover, students who take the CLT will be eligible for the state’s Bright Futures Scholarships.
As CLT gains popularity, it faces criticism from progressive education advocates who argue that it does not meet industry standards set by educational organizations with a focus on social justice. However, supporters of CLT, including many homeschoolers, appreciate its emphasis on a classical curriculum and intellectual achievement, not limited to classical subjects.
CLT’s focus on the transcendental and universal aligns with the core principles of classical and liberal arts education, contrasting with the progressive focus on social justice. Despite potential criticism, the CLT board aims to create an inclusive test that welcomes students from all backgrounds. Rather than being seen as a conservative test, CLT seeks to provide an alternative that promotes values and intellectual exploration, free from ideological biases.