CLA+ Test Could Be Hitting Many More College Seniors

CLA+, Is This New Test Taking Things Too Far?

The CLA+ test, or Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus, could be coming to your college or university very soon. According to the company website, more than 700 institutions, “both in the United States and internationally,” are already putting it to use.

Reuters noted in a recent report that the US number is up to 200, and includes “small liberal arts colleges Ursuline College of Pepper Pike, Ohio, and Stonehill College of Easton, Massachusetts as well as some of the California and Texas state university systems.”

The test is designed to compare the intellectual achievements of graduates to those at other schools in a global benchmark of sorts.

Robert Keeley, director of assessment services at the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), the organization that developed the test, said that the goal was to provide “another set of information that employers can use to review the applicant.”

“We’re looking to equip students to share their scores more readily than they have in the past,” Keeley added.

According to CAE’s official website, the test measures analysis, problem solving, writing, quantitative reasoning, and reading.

Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy at the nonprofit American Council of Trustees and Alumni, speculates that the CLA+ test could help reduce grade inflation.

“Employers want to see something they can rely on. They don’t want to see a portfolio of things that show a candidate may or may not have done,” Poliakoff told Reuters, adding that the test may help reveal “just how valid those grades on a transcript are.”

It’s still uncertain how yet another standardized test will set with teachers. At the high school levels, instructors have already shown their frustration via the Atlanta cheating scandal that broke in March in which more than 35 teachers were charged with aiding fraudulent tests.

And in April, a teacher’s resignation letter went viral when 27-year veteran Gerald Conti lamented that his profession “no longer exists” due in part to over-testing.

Do you think requiring college seniors to take yet another standardized test — namely, the CLA+ test — before graduation is a good idea, or are we overreacting to the current state of education?

[Image via CAE.org]