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Court: UC can't waffle in phasing out SATs in admissions



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Student applicants to the University of California can't submit their standardized test scores with their admissions as the system works to phase out the exam requirements, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

UC regents voted in May to drop the SAT and ACT test scores as admission requirements but permitted individual campuses to allow optional, voluntary submissions for 2021 and 2022. a lawsuit says the scores place low-income students, minorities and people with disabilities at an unfair disadvantage. A judge issued an injunction in August, which led to an appeal.

In a unanimous decision, a three-member panel of the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco lifted a stay on the lower court injunction, thus barring campuses from accepting or considering the scores for at least the 2021-2022 school year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The court noted that six of 10 UC campuses already agreed not to accept the test scores this year.

UC disagrees with the decision and is reviewing its options, said Claire Doan, spokeswoman for UC president Michael Drake.

UC's governing Board of Regents voted in May to phase out the tests over five years and to develop its own test as a replacement or scrap the test score admission requirement altogether.

With more than 290,000 students statewide, the move was seen as influential as other colleges nationwide eye similar choices.

Critics of the tests have long argued they put minority and low-income students at a disadvantage because the test questions often contain inherent bias that more privileged children are better equipped to answer. Wealthier students also tend to take expensive prep courses that help boost their scores, which many students can’t afford, critics say.

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