Federal Court Rejects Admissions Challenge to Boston’s Selective Public Schools

Education, Racial Justice

Federal Court Rejects Admissions Challenge to Boston’s Highly Selective Public Schools

On October 1, 2021, Judge Young of the District of Massachusetts reaffirmed that the City of Boston may consider racial, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity in crafting admissions policies for its highly selective public schools. In a thorough and thoughtful opinion, Judge Young acknowledged that the City had wrongfully withheld public records from the so-called Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence but that that decision—which occurred outside of the litigation—did not necessitate a reopening of the case. In particular, Judge Young observed that the withheld text messages did not change the Coalition’s “specious approach” to basic constitutional doctrine, noting that an earlier release of the messages would not have prevented the Coalition from “los[ing] unequivocally on the theory it advanced at trial.” 

This decision is a victory for the students of Boston, who have spent decades fighting for fair and equitable admissions policies to the City’s highly selective public schools. As the City begins to implement its newly adopted admissions policy, Lawyers for Civil Rights stands ready to ensure the district meets its obligation to provide all students with equal access to a high-quality public education regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, immigration status, disability, neighborhood, or language proficiency.

The decision is available here: