header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
60°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 27
1970 - Gov. Ronald Reagan appoints Adrian Adams as Newhall's first "second" judge [story]
Adrian Adams


OAKLAND — A judge has blocked the University of California system from using the SAT and ACT as part of its admissions process, finding a “test-optional policy” gives an unfair advantage to students who can access testing centers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UC Board of Regents voted to drop the standardized testing requirement for admissions in May, but gave campuses the option of considering SAT and ACT scores for admission in fall 2021 and 2022 as part of a “holistic” review of a student’s application.

While UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Irvine have eliminated use of the test scores, other schools like UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC Riverside planned to adopt the test-optional policy.

But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman issued a preliminary injunction blocking the test systemwide after a lengthy videoconference hearing last week, where lawyers for students challenging the tests argued that disabled students unable to find open testing centers that can accommodate their needs are being denied “meaningful access” to the benefit the test option affords.

“Unlike their non-disabled peers, they do not have the option to submit test scores; even if they did, their chance of obtaining necessary test accommodations are virtually nonexistent,” he wrote.

A group of students and education reform advocates sued the UC system in December, claiming low-income and minority applicants are harmed by the use of SAT and ACT scores in admissions, in part because the tests include “culturally biased questions” that favor affluent students.

Considering the pandemic’s effect on testing site operations, Seligman was particularly concerned at last weeks’ hearing with whether disabled students have been able to take the test this year, calling it “an overlying factor in this whole case.”

sat - UCLA Campus

University of California, Los Angeles, campus. Photo credit: UCLA website.

Representing students and advocacy groups, attorney Abigail Graber with Brown Goldstein & Levy told Seligman at last weeks’ hearing that “essentially zero students with disabilities will be able to take the test in California,” as high school testing centers that offer accommodations have shut down due to COVID-19.

“It deters them from even applying if they can’t find a test site that will give them accommodations,” Graber said.

Arguing for the UC system, attorney Hailyn Chen said, “It’s a very unusual time and students, regardless of disability, have difficulty accessing the test. But there’s not a single plaintiff who has standing who has provided actual evidence that they have not been able to access a test center and are therefore irreparably harmed.”

Her Munger Tolles & Olsen colleague Bryan Heckenlively said the universities that consider test scores do so in conjunction with a number of other factors, including grades and extracurricular activities.

“Isn’t it correct though that the test cores can only be a plus factor?” Seligman asked him. “They’re never going to hurt you. The only time the test scores come into play is if it helps.”

Heckenlively said a high test score would be a plus factor, along with things like participation in sports, which also “are not equally available to students with disabilities.”

Using football as an analogy, Graber asked Seligman to imagine a field goal-optional game, where a team is banned from kicking field goals because its kicker has a disability. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility that they could win but no one would call that fair.” Yet scoring a field goal could be the thing that pushes a team over the edge to victory, she said.

“That’s the extra credit that disabled students don’t have access to,” Graber said in a phone interview Tuesday. “Judge Seligman really understood that the process was inequitable for students for disabilities and they are entitled to the same chance in the admissions process as other students when a test is not available to them.”

Seligman’s order only applies for the duration of the litigation, and the UC system plans to stop considering SAT and ACT scores altogether in 2023. Graber said it is unlikely that the universities will win a judgment in their favor before their test-optional policy sunsets in two years.

“Seligman found the plaintiffs are quite likely to succeed on the merits and I don’t see the facts on the ground changing,” she said.

Through a spokesperson, the UC system said it “respectfully disagrees” with Seligman’s ruling.

“An injunction may interfere with the university’s efforts to implement an appropriate and comprehensive admissions policies and its ability to attract and enroll students of diverse backgrounds and experiences,” the UC system said, adding, “The university is evaluating whether further legal actions are called for.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
Nominees for the 53rd NAACP Image Awards include CalArtians honored across several categories, including Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Animated Motion Picture, Outstanding Short Form (Animiated), Outstanding Children’s Program and Outstanding Animated Series.
Thursday, Jan 20, 2022
Coming off a first-place winning streak at competitions in New York and Washington, D.C., earlier in 2021, the CSUN Model United Nations team continues to accumulate achievements after scoring another first place finish with the Outstanding Delegation Award in the Northwest Model UN Conference, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
California State University, Northridge was given two honors from the National Opera Association, officials said Tuesday. 
Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
The College of the Canyons Spring 2022 semester begins  Feb. 7, and those looking for the classes needed to upgrade their skills, or transfer to a four-year university, still have time to register. 
Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022
The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Independent Citizens Bond Oversight Committee voted to accept the results of an independent audit confirming the district properly accounted for all bond expenditures in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Following a nationwide search, Paseo Aquatics, a premier USA-Swimming Sanctioned club located in Santa Clarita, has landed Kameron Kennedy.
Level 4 Coach Kameron Kennedy Joins Paseo Aquatics
College of the Canyons women's basketball, winners of four straight, checked in as the No. 8 ranked team in the state in the first California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) poll of the 2021-22 season, released on Jan. 26. 
Lady Cougars Ranked 8th in New Statewide Poll
The city of Santa Clarita is pleased to announce that the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) Trail Users volunteer group will help build out a scenic portion of the new Crest to Coast Trail in Newhall.
Local Trail Users Volunteer Group Assisting New Crest to Coast Trail
The public is invited to an opening reception at the Santa Clarita Artists Association Gallery on Friday, Feb. 18, from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
SCAA Hosting ‘Fantastical Flora’ Art Reception
Love is in the air at The MAIN, where “The Diaries of Adam and Eve” will take the stage in February!
‘Diaries of Adam and Eve’ Coming to The MAIN
On Saturday, Jan. 22, Santa Clarita Transit partnered with Guide Dogs of America to provide training to service dogs in Central Park.
Santa Clarita Transit Lends Helping Hand to Guide Dogs
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total number to 208 since the onset of the pandemic, confirmed spokesman Patrick Moody.
Thursday COVID Roundup: Henry Mayo Reports Two Additional Deaths
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its Budget Committee meeting Monday, Jan. 31, at 2:00 p.m.
Jan. 31: Santa Clarita Budget Committee Meeting
During the month of February, the city of Santa Clarita is teaming up with community partners to help show appreciation for our hospital staff who have been on the frontline of this pandemic for nearly two full years.
City, Local Organizations Partner to Thank Henry Mayo Staff
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health cautions residents who are planning to visit the following Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters
Water Use Warning Issued for L.A. County Beaches
1970 - Gov. Ronald Reagan appoints Adrian Adams as Newhall's first "second" judge [story]
Adrian Adams
Caltrans announced Tuesday it is approving the use of low-carbon cement to help reduce the carbon footprint of California’s transportation system.
CalTrans Approves Use Of Low-Carbon Cement For Future Projects
The Tejon Ranch Conservancy is honoring one college intern's passion for wildlife conservation and highlighting her unique story.
Tejon Ranch Conservancy Recognizes College Intern’s Passion for Wildlife Conservation
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 91 additional deaths and 20,866 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 66,432 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID-Roundup: County Reports Youngest Death Since Pandemic Began
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced "A Trusted Space: Redirecting Grief to Growth", a film-based program to help address increasing mental health challenges faced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Superintendent Launches Statewide Mental Health Program
Symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled during the pandemic for youth across the country, according to the United States Surgeon General.
Feb 10: County Hosts Youth Mental Health Seminar
Los Angeles County Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn called Tuesday for a thorough assessment of the Department of Children and Family Services that will place a spotlight on how well the organization is guided by evidence-based decisions and data to deliver outcomes for its clients. 
Board of Supervisors Approve Assessment of County Children and Family Services
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s Empower Hour will be held virtually at noon, Saturday, Feb. 5 on Zoom.
Feb. 5: Zonta Club of SCV Hosts Virtual Empower Hour on Child Marriage
The Sierra Hillbillies Square Dance Club will kick off Super Bowl celebrations a week early at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6.
Feb. 6: Sierra Hillbillies Square Dance Club Hosting Super Sunday Tailgate Party
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported Tuesday one additional death from COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total number to 205 since the onset of the pandemic, confirmed spokesman Patrick Moody. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 36 additional deaths and 18,822 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 65,938 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: Henry Mayo Reports One Death, Daily Cases, Hospitalizations Decline in L.A. County
Supervisor Kathryn Barger has voiced her strong opposition to a motion passed by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to extend and expand emergency renter eviction protections through 2023.
Barger Opposes Extending Protections for Rent Nonpayment: ‘No Way’
The WiSH Education Foundation will offer a new Webinar Wednesday as part of it’s WiSH webinar year-round series for college bound students.
Feb. 9: WiSH Education Foundation Hosting Webinar on Athletic Recruiting
No. 6 College of the Canyons women’s basketball team won its fourth straight game 54-47 over West L.A. College at the Cougar Cage on Saturday, as Monique Febles finished with 17 points and LuLu Salloom pulled down 21 rebounds to keep COC in the win column.
No. 6 Lady Cougars Push Win Streak to Four, 54-47 Over West L.A.
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: