The University of California is violating state civil rights laws by requiring applicants to take the SAT or ACT, standardized tests that unlawfully discriminate against disabled, low-income, multilingual and underrepresented minority students, allege two lawsuits filed Tuesday.
The lawsuits, filed on behalf of the Compton Unified School District, four students and five community organizations, demand that the 10-campus UC system eliminate the testing requirement. Any decision by UC to drop the tests — as some prominent UC officials themselves are urging — would play an outsized role in the future of standardized testing in the nation because of the size and status of the premier public research university system.
“Rather than fulfilling its vision as an ‘engine of opportunity for all Californians’ and creating a level playing field in which all students are evaluated based on individual merit, the UC requires all applicants to subject themselves to SAT and ACT tests that are demonstrably discriminatory against the State’s least privileged students, the very students who would most benefit from higher education,” one of the lawsuits states.
The lawsuits allege that UC’s testing requirement violates the California Constitution’s equal protection guarantees and bans on discrimination by state educational and civil rights laws.
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