UPDATE: After a marathon virtual meeting on Wednesday night, the Boston School Committee voted unanimously to eliminate the exam for the 2021-2022 school year for admission into the exam schools – Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the O’Bryant.

Original Post:

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius recommended last Thursday to not use an exam this year for admission to the prestigious Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the O’Bryant School. 

According to WBUR, the decision for recommendation was made by a nine-person task force over the summer.  The plan was presented at a virtual school committee meeting on Thursday evening.

So how will students be admitted for the 2021-2022 school year?

According to the plan, 20% of seats would be allocated to students with the city’s top grades. The remaining 80% would be admitted to the schools based on their GPA within their home ZIP code. Eligible students from the lowest-income ZIP codes given first choice.

A pool of eligible BPS students would be created for those who either maintained a B average in school this academic year or who “met or exceeded expectations” on the 2019 MCAS test.

What’s the point of this shift away from an exam?

Well, number one – we’re in a middle of a pandemic and administering a test during disrupted learning is not ideal. The plan also projects a rise of 15 percentage points in the number of seats apportioned to Black and Latino students.

Who makes the final decision?

The Boston School Committee does.  They are tentatively scheduled to vote on the proposal on Oct. 21.

Is the exam for these three school gone for good?

As of now, this only applies to student candidates for the 2021-22 academic year for now

Where can I learn more details?

You can read the complete plan here.

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