Florida is considering ‘classic’ Christian alternative to SAT testing

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to battle with the college board over “alertness,” the state’s Department of Education is looking for an alternative to the board’s SAT and ACT college entrance exams.

State officials have met with Jeremy Wayne Tate, who founded Classic Learning Initiatives in 2015 as an alternative way of measuring student skills, the Miami Herald reported Friday.

Tate’s educational philosophy focuses on using the Socratic method to teach the traditional Western literary canon, which consists largely of the works of white men. A board member of the company called The test follows the “great classical and Christian tradition”.

SAT and ACT have been criticized for years for providing incentives to “teach for the test,” or prioritizing test material over any other material that might also benefit a student’s education.

But recently, DeSantis and other conservatives have begun to attack the organization behind it, accusing the college board of going too far with diversity and inclusion efforts. A new AP course on African-American studies offered by the College Board was rejected by DeSantis’ education department earlier this year, and the governor has even suggested the idea of ​​banning AP courses in Florida entirely.

Henry Mack, senior chancellor of the Florida Department of Education, took to social media to support Tate and his Classic Learning Test.

Mack tweeted Thursday that the test “provides an opportunity for all of our colleges and universities to set their priorities straight.”

On Friday, he was more succinct: “CLT, not CRT!” (CRT, or Critical Race Theory, has been a conservative boogeyman in the Black Lives Matter era for years.)

Mack has said that the American public school system “often enforces or cultivates the treacherous belief that students should be taught to hate others because of their race, or that the free society we are so fortunate to enjoy is inherently racist and directed against the marginalized”.

“We’re thrilled that they like what we’re doing,” Tate told the Miami Herald of Florida officials. “We’re talking to people in administration almost every day at the moment.”

Tate told the Miami Herald that the College Board’s SAT has become “increasingly ideological” because it has censored “the entire Christian Catholic intellectual tradition” and other “thinkers in the history of Western thought.” On Twitter, he called the College Board “one of the most ideologically extreme organizations in American education.”

His Twitter page contains at least one retweet from men’s rights activist Jordan B. Peterson and self-penned opinions about the decline of the West because people have moved away from Christianity.

Tate is also a board member of the Maryland Family Institute, a religious advocacy group that is opposed to abortion.

Tate on Friday tries to refute allegations running a right-wing company – he says it is neither right nor left – by pointing out that his test contains passages written by Karl Marx and Susan Rice, a national security adviser in the Obama administration. The company also boasts on its website that its sample test “includes passages by Aristotle, Benjamin Franklin, Adam Smith, Pope John Paul II, and even Susan Rice.”

With DeSantis eyeing a 2024 White House candidacy, his state’s feud with educational institutions seems far from over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *