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New Boston schools superintendent says her focus is on racial equity

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said Thursday she has no immediate plans to explore replacing the test students take for entrance to the city’s three so-called exam schools. –Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File

Boston Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said Thursday that she is committed to helping disadvantaged students succeed, speaking a day after a civil rights group accused her of being out of touch with the issues many black and Latino students encounter in trying to secure seats at the city’s exam schools.

“I think talking about equity is always a sensitive topic,’’ said Cassellius, who is African-American and noted that she grew up in poverty. “It is my hope the community will come together and put children at the center, so we can create great schools in every neighborhood.’’

Lawyers for Civil Rights said Cassellius missed the mark on Wednesday when she expressed shock on a radio program over the high cost of administering the Independent School Entrance Exam — $140 per student. In the WGBH interview, she questioned whether there was a less expensive entrance exam the city could use for Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and the O’Bryant School of Math and Science.