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Temporary admissions policy to go forward for Boston exam schools, federal judge rules

The policy eliminates the required exam for this year.

On Oct. 18, counter protesters stood across the street from a rally outside of Boston Latin School that called for Boston schools to keep the admission exam in place for entry into elite exam schools. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

A federal judge has upheld the Boston School District’s temporary admissions policy for its three exam schools, reaffirming that there won’t be an admissions test for entrance this fall.

Due to concerns last fall over COVID-19 and racial disparities, the city’s School Committee had voted to pause the exam usually required to attend O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Boston Latin School, and Boston Latin Academy.

But the decision didn’t come without strong opinions, and protests, both for and against the move.

Instead of the exam, students are planned to be admitted to the schools based on 2019 MCAS scores, their grades, and their zip code.

Back in February, the Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence Corp. filed a lawsuit, arguing that the new policy went against the 14th amendment, according to The Boston Globe. Fourteen students were represented in the lawsuit, along with their parents, the Globe reported. They’re of white, Indian, and Chinese descent, and live in West Roxbury, Brighton, Beacon Hill, and Chinatown, the newspaper said. The lawsuit argued that the policy results in discrimination

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However, a federal judge ruled that the temporary admissions policy is “raceneutral,” according to the Globe.

“The education of one’s children is a matter of prime concern to any parent,” Judge William Young wrote, as reported by the Globe. “Thus it is worthy of remark that the Plan the Court today upholds applies only to the 2021-2022 school year.”

Now that the lawsuit is behind them, school officials said they will send out admission decisions to students by the end of April, according to the Globe.

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