Civil rights groups hail ‘historic’ ruling on exam schools

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Boston Public Schools’ one-year change to the admissions policy at its three selective admissions schools, denying a challenge to the policy from a group of white and Asian parents.

The policy, which the Boston School Committee adopted for the current year, drops the use of a standardized test as a factor in admissions, prioritizing instead students with the highest grade-point averages and students in zip codes with high percentages of low-income families.

While BPS officials maintained that the policy was necessary this year, as holding the exam during the ongoing pandemic was not safe, the Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence Corp. in February filed a lawsuit seeking to block the policy, arguing that the district was using zip codes as a proxy for race.

A coalition of Black, Latino and Asian groups filed a brief in support of the policy.

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