Kentucky Senate back KEES expansion; debate centers on testing exam

Republished from WEKU.


The State Senate has voted overwhelmingly to expand eligibility for the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship awards. The floor debate included comments about what should qualify for university admission tests.

The Senate bill broadens KEES money to include home-schooled students. In addition to the ACT and SAT, the measure also allows for using the Classic Learning Test. Opponents argued the CLT includes questions tied to religion and that could be a barrier for some college-seeking students. Smithfield GOP Senator Lindsey Tichenor voted yes.

“Just the basic principle of classical education, the grammar, logic, reasoning, and rhetoric that’s taught through that method, really teaches a student how to think and not what to think,” said Tichenor.

Louisville Senator Karen Berg said the CLT website states 25% of the questions have a religious or philosophical basis. She went on to say it’s a test designed for Christian home-schooled students.

“I think your Muslim students, your Jewish students, your Buddhist students are being put at a disadvantage when we offer an exam that has a religious bias,” said Berg.

Louisville Democratic Senator Cassie Chambers Armstrong said she didn’t find one Kentucky public university accepting CLT as an entrance exam.

Northern Kentucky Republican Senator John Schickel said the CLT is gaining in popularity and doesn’t just focus on Christian topics.

GOP Bill Sponsor Mike Wilson of Bowling Green said students could still use ACT or SAT, and the Classic Learning Test was just an option.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.