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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — The State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors voted 13-1 Friday to adopt the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as an alternative admissions test to the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT), the latest development in Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ work to reform public education in the Sunshine State.

The CLT “tests Verbal Reasoning (textual comprehension and analysis), Grammar/Writing (textual editing and improvement), and Quantitative Reasoning (logic and mathematic),” according to its website. It is distinguished from other entrance testing by its “use of the greatest and most enduring texts that have informed and shaped society,” classical works of Western literature, political theory, philosophy, and theology that used to define a liberal arts education.

“Instead of evaluating how much students have crammed for the test, CLT considers students’ intellectual capacity and aptitude, and puts them in front of meaningful pieces of literature that have stood the test of time,” the site says.

“The CLT makes greater use of classic texts from Western and world history, assigning excerpts from St. Augustine, Frederick Douglass, and Charles Darwin,” wrote Hillsdale College politics professor Adam Carrington, who theorizes that to keep up with it more schools may be persuaded to assign more “Shakespeare, Cicero, and like texts to try and score better on the new test,” which in turn “will expose [students] to great works of literature, philosophy, and theology they might not otherwise encounter.”

Inside Higher Ed reported that the board voted overwhelmingly to accept the test for applications to all of the state university system’s 12 campuses starting this fall. The one opposing vote came from faculty representative Amanda Phalin, who argued the test (launched in 2015) had not been used or studied long enough to prove its merit.

“This decision shows that DeSantis doesn’t care about research, education, science or students,” objected Akil Bello of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. “There’s a reason this test is usually used at Bible colleges and seminaries: The point is to be able to identify those who agree with your ideology.”

“The source material is different, and we fundamentally reject the College Board and ACT sensitivity committees that have gotten totally out of control,” contended CLT founder Jeremy Tate, who added that his organization conducted a concordance study to prove the CLT’s comparability to the SAT. “But at the end of the day, we’re measuring the same things, and we’ve shown we can do it just as well if not better.”

The College Board disputes the reliability of that study, although its own credibility has been called into question; earlier this year, the organization backed down after the DeSantis administration rejected a pilot version of its Advanced Placement African American Studies course for ideologically biased content.

“Serious reading about these matters from the classic canon of thinkers would push education toward cultivating students as human beings,” Carrington argued. “It would make our learning less focused on only job skills or on trendy moralistic tropes. Instead, it would force teachers and students to ask what permanent truths and wise particular applications best form the human mind and heart. It would make us consider not just what is effective or efficient but what is noble and true.

“Along these lines, the CLT places greater emphasis on religious texts. These texts do use a lot of Christian-based readings. This choice makes sense for our own history and context. However, the test also includes readings from Jewish writers such as Maimonides and religious figures such as Gandhi. Taken together, reading these texts calls on teachers and students to confront the question of eternity and divinity, whether God exists, and the nature of God if so. These questions do not impose a religious view but make us consider religion’s role in human formation and in our conclusions about our own existence.”

The change is part of the DeSantis administration’s aggressive, wide-ranging work to follow through on the promises he made in his second inaugural address to continue getting ideological proselytization out of education and more thoroughly making Florida the place “where woke goes to die.”

The governor and 2024 presidential contender has taken numerous actions to prohibit critical race theory and age-inappropriate sexual discussions from classrooms and help elect like-minded conservatives to local school boards, as well as force compliance with state standards such as keeping restrooms sex specific.