Boston parents lose bid to block schools’ new no-exam admissions plan

A group of Boston parents lost their bid to block a new admissions plan for the city’s three public schools that had required entrance examinations.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a judge’s decision from two weeks ago that declared the plan fair. Because of COVID-19 concerns, the usual extrance exam was scrapped this year in favor of a system relying on grade point average and a ZIP code quota to achieve socioeconomic diversity.

The acceptance announcements for Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science had been delayed by the lawsuit. Upon the ruling, they were sent out on Wednesday, Boston Public Schools said.

The suit, filed by a group calling itself the Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence, argued that this year’s no-exam system discriminated against White and Asian-American students. They favored a system of GPA only.

The appeals court endorsed the earlier statement of U.S. District Judge William Young that the plan was “race neutral.”

The three “exam schools” serve seventh through 12th grades, and students generally apply for admission into seventh grade or ninth grade. Last year, about 4,000 students applied for 1,400 slots.

Boston Public Schools released this breakdown of the admitted students, plus a projection of how it would have changed under this year’s plan:

White (16% of city’s school age population): 39% of those admitted last year; projected 32% under new plan.
Latinx (36% of population): 21% last year; projected 24% under new plan.
Black (35% of population): 14% last year; projected 22% under new plan
Asian-American (7% of population): 21% last year; projected 16% under new plan.

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The remaining 5% were multi-ethnic or “other.”



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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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