UC's May Not Use SAT's During Covid

The Superior Court has ordered the University of California system not to use SAT and ACT test scores in making admissions and awarding scholarships. The Judge wrote that students with disabilities would be unfairly hurt by having to take the tests under pandemic conditions.

"The barriers faced by students with disabilities have been greatly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted test-taking locations, closed schools and limited access to school counselors," Judge Brad Seligman of Alameda County Superior Court said in issuing a preliminary injunction on Tuesday.

The system's governing board, the Board of Regents, voted in late May to phase out the use of standardized test scores in admissions for California students over the next four academic years. In the meantime, the system planned to look for a replacement test tot be freighted with the accusations of bias against Black, Hispanic and poor students that have dogged the SAT and the ACT in recent years.

The judge's decision came two months before the application deadline for admission in the fall of 2021. The system had already decided to make submission of test scores optional because of the pandemic, and some U.C. campuses, like Berkeley, had decided not to consider them in admissions.

Now, as a result of the injunction, the test scores cannot be used anywhere in the U.C. system for admission or scholarship decisions as long as the underlying lawsuit - a challenge to the tests' legitimacy - is pending.

The University of California said in a statement that "an injunction may interfere with the university's efforts to implement appropriate and comprehensive admissions policies and its ability to attract and enroll students of diverse backgrounds and experiences." The statement said the university was considering whether to appeal.


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