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### Hillsdale Academy Achieves Fourth Place Nationally in CLT Scores

Hillsdale Academy’s senior class achieved the fourth position nationally in terms of their combined scores on the Classical Learning Test during the 2022-23 academic year.

Headmaster Mike Roberts ’98 of Hillsdale Academy expressed that while the results are significant, they do not represent the sole measure of success. He emphasized the effectiveness of the classical education approach and the Hillsdale College Program Guide followed by the institution, highlighting the commendable outcomes achieved by both students and teachers, which are comparable to those of any other school in the country.

The Classical Learning Test, an exam tailored to the knowledge and preparation of classically educated students, serves as an alternative to traditional standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. Comprising sections on verbal reasoning, grammar and writing, and quantitative reasoning, with an optional essay component, the CLT aims to assess students in alignment with the principles of classical education.

Assistant Headmaster Julie Apel noted that excelling in the CLT is gratifying for students as it closely aligns with the objectives of classical education. She emphasized that a well-crafted assessment such as the CLT reflects the knowledge and skills expected of a properly educated student, emphasizing the significance of quality content and logical reasoning in education.

Roberts outlined the testing requirements at Hillsdale Academy, indicating that students across different grades undertake various levels of the CLT, ranging from CLT 3-6 for elementary students to the CLT for eleventh graders. While the institution also administers the ACT and SAT, Roberts highlighted the value of the CLT as a more tailored assessment that correlates closely with the educational content students engage with regularly.

In the recently released rankings for the 2022-23 academic year, Hillsdale Academy secured the fourth spot in the CLT category and the second spot in the CLT 8 category. These rankings, according to David Diener, a professor of education and board member of the CLT, underscore the exceptional performance of Hillsdale Academy amidst a cohort of schools that surpass national norms in CLT scores.

Apel regarded the rankings as a testament to the school’s achievements, attributing the success to the dedication of both students and faculty towards academic excellence. While acknowledging that standardized assessments offer only a partial view of education, she commended the students for their outstanding performance.

Roberts highlighted that a significant number of seniors who took the CLT in their junior year have been accepted to Hillsdale College, one of the many institutions recognizing the test. He emphasized that while test scores are encouraging, the primary focus of Hillsdale Academy remains on holistic student development rather than solely on academic achievements.

Emphasizing that the Academy does not solely focus on test preparation, Roberts underscored the importance of not tailoring the curriculum exclusively to standardized tests like the AP, SAT, or ACT. He emphasized the institution’s commitment to providing a well-rounded education that prioritizes student growth and development over test scores.