header image

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


Today in
S.C.V. History
June 25
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in SCV area; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez

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.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Thursday, Jun 20, 2024
Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024
See how the Advanced Technology Center is helping train the next class of skilled technicians with a tour of the facility. 
Monday, Jun 17, 2024
College of the Canyons will launch its first bachelor’s degree program in January 2025.
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024
Longtime California State University, Northridge lecturer and pioneering civil rights activist, the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr., has died, at the age of 95.
Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
With the stigma around mental health shifting, conversations about therapy are becoming increasingly popular. However, those who seek mental health counseling know finding a therapist or an ideal therapy approach isn’t always easy. 
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in SCV area; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
The 2023-2024 school year has come to a close and along with it a very successful year of high school athletics.
CIF-SS Commissioner Mike West | Year in Review
The Castaic Union School District Governing Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m.
June 27: Castaic Union Expected to Adopt 2024-2025 Budget
The regular meeting of the Saugus Union School District Governing Board will take place Tuesday, June 25, with closed session beginning at 5 p.m., followed immediately by public session at 6:40 p.m.
June 25: Saugus Union School District Regular Board Meeting
A new nonprofit initiative in Santa Clarita is laying the foundation for a groundbreaking Children's Museum.
July 26-28: LEAP Children’s Museum Hosting Pop-Up Event
The SCV Senior Center was recently informed that their Nutrition Budget - “Meals for Seniors” for Fiscal Year starting July 1, 2024, will be cut by $5.1 million dollars.
SCV Senior Center Announces $5.1M Cut to Nutrition Budget
I know I speak for everyone when I say the passing of firefighter Andrew Pontious in the line of duty just one week ago was heartbreaking.
Kathryn Barger | Fighting Fires
Jeremy Bischoff, a Santa Clarita native and a member of the USA Gymnastics National Team for five years, will compete for a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games this week. Bischoff, a 2020 graduate of Canyon High School/Learning Post Academy, will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials June 27-June 30 in Minneapolis.
Santa Clarita Native Jeremy Bischoff to Compete in Olympic Trials
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley invites the community to celebrate its 50 years of improving lives of women and girls globally and in the SCV with a glittering disco gala at The Oaks Club, Valencia, on Saturday night, Sept. 14
‘Studio 74’ Coming to Zonta SCV’s Golden Anniversary Celebration
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Spotlight Series will feature a diverse lineup of talented musicians and performers, as well as family-friendly events as part of its programming.  
PAC Announces 2024-2025 Spotlight Series
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has released the list of seven productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, June 24 - Sunday, June 30.
Seven Productions Filming in Santa Clarita
Eleven additional athletes claimed spots on the 2024 Paris Olympic Team, including Saugus High School alumna Abbey Weitzeil, on night eight of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming presented by Lilly, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Santa Clarita’s Abbey Weitzeil Qualifies for Paris Olympic Team
As a city manager, father and community member — the safety of Santa Clarita residents will always be my top priority - especially on the roads.
Ken Striplin | Enhancing Safety, Efficiency in Our Community
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is set to roll out a fresh, data-oriented strategy aimed at curtailing crime throughout L.A. County.
LASD Rolls Out New Crime Strategy Unit
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Hart Park, Newhall [story]
Saugus Train Station
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall estate and his (now West) Hollywood home to the public [story]
Hart dies
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
Vasquez Rocks
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath have sent an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to continue funding the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations hand crews who currently help the Los Angeles County Fire Department tackle wildland fires.
Supes Urge Newsom Not to Cut L.A. County Inmate Firefighting Crews
Give the gift of life, an upcoming blood drive is scheduled for Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. The blood drive will be held in Cedar Hall.
June 28: City Hosts Blood Drive at The Centre
The city of Santa Clarita invites local schools and nonprofits to submit a proposal outlining a project that can benefit from volunteer support as part of Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Santa Clarita Now Accepting Project Proposals for Make A Difference Day
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. that includes a host of issues including assessments, taxes, fees and budgets in addition to continued hearings on the Town Center Specific Plan.
June 25: City Council Meets on Open Space, Budget, Town Center Specific Plan
Part of the Summer Theatre Festival by Santa Clarita Shakespeare, "An Evening of Absurdity" will run July 12-21 at the MAIN, 24266 Main Street., Newhall, CA 91321.
The MAIN Presents ‘An Evening of Absurdity’
The city of Santa Clarita has issued a traffic advisory for daytime lane closures at Copper Hill and Rio Norte Drive beginning Monday, June 24.
June 24: Traffic Advisory Lane Closures Copper Hill/Rio Norte Drive
Santa Clarita will celebrate this year's Fourth of July with the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club's pancake breakfast, Santa Clarita Valley Parade Committee's Fourth of July Parade and city of Santa Clarita fireworks show.
Fourth of July Events in Santa Clarita