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BPS had planned to send out exam-school invitations on March 29, but lawsuit will likely delay that

A federal judge today held off any action on a bid by a group of White and Asian-American parents to block the way the Boston school system plans to enroll students in the three exam schools until at least March 16 to give the two sides - and lawyers for groups representing Black, Latino and other Asian-American parents - time to try to agree on the basic facts of the case.

A group calling itself the Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence Corp. sued Boston Public Schools over the 2021/2022 exam-school admissions plan last week, alleging it discriminates against White and Asian-American students in the way it uses students' 2019 GPA rankings and Zip codes to make up for the lack of exams this year due to what BPS says is Covid-19-related issues. It asked for a judge to block the plan.

At a hearing today, US District Court Judge William Young granted several other groups - the NAACP Boston Branch, the Greater Boston Latino Network , the Asian Pacific Islanders Civic Action Network and the Asian American Resource Workshop - the right to become parties to the case. Doreen Rachal, a lawyer for the groups, said they support the BPS position but that they moved to intervene in the case because of concern BPS lawyers might not fully represent the concerns of minority students in BPS.

Kay Hodge, a lawyer for BPS, said that because of the suit, invitation letters could be delayed until at least mid-April.

Because time is of the essence in the case - the longer it goes on, the longer it could delay admissions to Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O'Bryant School - Young emphasized the need for the three sides to come up with facts they could all agree on. Without such an agreement, the parties might have to engage in discovery, a potentially lengthy process of legal interviews of people involved in the issue, before he could even begin to consider the potential legal and constitutional issues involved in the case.

"This is a case that cries out for prompt action, but prompt action on a carefully considered record," Young said.

Young said his initial reading of the filings suggest that should not be difficult, because they include a series of fairly straightforward issues related to the School Committee's decision in October to use the plan for one year, such as the basic racial demographics of BPS students and the specifics of the plan the committee adopted.

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Can you post a copy of the Memo in Support of the Motion for PI and the City's Opposition to the Motion for PI?

Thanks!

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Voting closed 14

I'd posted a copy of the initial complaint at the bottom of my initial story on the suit. I've added the memorandum in support of the complaint.

I don't think BPS has filed an answer yet, at least, I didn't see it on the docket just now.

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Much appreciated. Should be an interesting legal argument at the PI hearing. ps how great is it that we can attend these things via zoom now?

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Served with a side of nyah-nyah.

I hope the case proceeds with All Deliberate Speed.

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Well, it took two years to convict the Marathon Bomber which was an obvious verdict (8+ years if you count the retrial, which hasn't even been scheduled yet).

At that tempo, this case should be decided by the time the kids graduate. From medical school.

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Voting closed 18

The death penalty is not involved in this case. That always results in longer trials.

Also, the plaintiffs have asked for a preliminary injunction. Judges try to move quickly on those.

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Voting closed 21

Someone else's kid getting a spot at BLS.

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So the two sides in this lawsuit are grouped by race, rather than their position on the issue? What happens if a white person supports eliminating the exam, or a Black or Hispanic person supports keeping the exam?

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Voting closed 25

One of the board members of the parent corporation is Rachel Miselman, who is black (also Jewish). If her name sounds familiar, she tried running as a Republican for Pressley's seat last fall.

And if you look at the names of some of the groups granted permission to join the case today, you'l see not all Asian-Americans support the suit.

Heck, you don't even have to be a Boston resident to get involved. Along with Miselman, another board member of the corporation is Bruce McKinnon, who, granted, graduated BLS in 1974, but who now lives in Cohasset.

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Voting closed 19

Rachel Miselman was a few years ahead of me at BLS. Recall that she had a tough time with many aspects of school climate (particularly identifying with the very small minority of Jews enrolled at that time).

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Some of the more mainstream Asian-American groups in Boston, such as the Chinese Progressive Association, are not represented, despite their typical political alignments (e.g. supporting a $15 wage, Green New Deal, et al.). In fact, CPA is aligned with the Asian Pacific Islanders Civic Action Network, which is one of the parties listed on the docket.

The lack of participation tells you a lot about the ground-level (i.e. Boston-based) community opposition to this policy...

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Voting closed 19

I think you may be confusing the short list of interveners who are participants in the legal case, with the long list of Asian, Black & LatinX groups who have signed on in opposition to the lawsuit. Their joint statement is here:

https://www.bosedequity.org/blog/joint-statement-educational-equity-is-n...

I’m not sure that I’ve seen any established groups from the Asian community (or any other community) supporting the lawsuit. Not a lot of orgs shameless enough to sign on to a reverse discrimination lawsuit. At least that’s progress.

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Voting closed 18

Neither of those two groups represent parents of BPS kids. If you don't have a child in BPS and this lottery does not affect you, you don't have standing. And I don't see how anyones political stance on the minimum wage, and green energy, two race-neutral topics have any bearing on the case.

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Is Black and Jewish and calls herself “Bluish.”

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Lenny Kravitz, also Black and Jewish used to call himself Romeo Blue

Make sure your cousin watches out for a copyright infringement suit from a 56 year old man who acts like he's 22.

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Voting closed 19

BPS is claiming delay is because of this lawsuit. That is a lie- they are trying to cover their incompetence or illegal plan to make calls a month after the deadline to change the applicant pool. I think it’s important that this headline be revised. Adam- I can send you an email from last week stating a delay until sometime in April.

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Voting closed 46

BPS admin last week said that admissions decisions were not "on track" and that they would be released in April.

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It doesn't seem that unreasonable to me, especially these days, that they might have already expected a delay for other reasons and this is causing it to be delayed further.

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Voting closed 19

Yes- they did not like the pool they got by their own deadline so they blew it off and made calls to benefit only a certain group- BOS kids. Private and parochial are supposed to have the same access. A private school kid missed the Jan 29 deadline by 3 days and was told they can’t apply. I can’t imagine why this is ok with people. The ends justify the means I guess and that’s wrong.

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Voting closed 16

Stop trying to pile on the reasons why you don’t want this to move forward. The lawsuit will fail and that’s why you’re trying to find any and all reasons to find fault.

As a white male, I am 100% in support of this plan and applaud BPS for this effort. I’m ashamed of my white counterparts who are so insulted that their child might lose out to a person of color.

Parents who dedicate their life to restricting opportunities for other children should be ashamed of themselves. Or as you put it when trying to defend white privilege, if you don’t like it, just move!

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I can’t find the names of the individuals behind this? Are they able to hide behind the name of the group they started?

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They're listed on its articles of organization.

However, all of the parents they are specifically suing on behalf of, as listed in the complaint filed in court, are anonymous - although they do list which neighborhood they're in, so we know that 10 of the 14 are from West Roxbury.

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Thanks

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West Roxbury is part of the City of Boston and therefore people from West Roxbury have standing in this case. As much as some people don't like that, it is what it is, no matter how this case is framed to be evil West Roxbury and evil Chinatown versus the enlightened of Wards 10, 11 and 19 .

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The fact that 70% of the plaintiffs are from that one neighborhood says something.

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It says they are organized and determined.

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A lot of kids from the zip code 02132 get admitted to BLS every year, as has been the case for decades.

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Other than the fact that West Roxbury will be hurt most by the new, "temporary" plan -- "hurt" in the sense that the neighborhood will experience the largest decline in the number of accepted students. In this context, it makes perfect sense that 70% of the plaintiffs are from West Roxbury.

However, the remaining 30% is not -- and that says something as well. It shows that students from other neighborhoods are also negatively impacted.

If anything, the plaintiffs' ability to get 2 Chinatown families to sign on is an incredible feat by itself. It's generally hard to get tenement dwellers/restaurant workers/non-English-speaking immigrants to voluntarily involve themselves in the American legal system, especially the federal courts. It's even harder when the community organizations (e.g. Chinese Progressive Association), which are typically associated with progressive causes, decide to not take any stance on things like this, in fear of being cast out by either their political allies or their own community.

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Wonder if this will hurt property values in Westie if it goes forward. Limiting the number of seats allowed to go to 02132, combined with the number of kids in that area code competing for them, makes living there way less attractive. In fact, by guaranteeing x amount of seats to neighborhoods like Mattapan, etc, you may see particularly motivated parents start to snap up property in those areas to increase their chances. Especially with the work-from-home professional class no longer impacted by the horrible public transit options in those neighborhoods.

Will be interesting to see how this ripples into the general gentrification issue.

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There are plenty of JP parents who are contributing to this group through go-fund-me. Most of the donors are anonymous. People don't want to get doxxed, and castigated by their politically correct neighbors. But if this attitude from the PC crowd continues.... best of luck with 2024.

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There’s nothing to be ashamed about arguing that a city policy violates the constitution. It’s a legal argument. Of course the race baiters from all perspectives will play that game, but really, the crux of the case is a straightforward legal argument. Judge Young said as much today. He doesn’t see the relevant facts as in dispute.

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Has a lottery for all students who meet eligibility ever been used? If so, what were the advantages and drawbacks?

Has another exam school or schools ever been considered for development so that all eligible students are accommodated? If not, why?

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The exam schools have become less desirable over the last couple of decades. It’s always been pretty discriminatory whether by race, class or ableism and its only sought after because of its name and what that meant historically. It’s like a public school for kids who’s parents couldn’t afford private school tuition and thought it was good enough for their kids casted there wasn’t too many “bad apples” decipher how you may!

The exam schools suck !!

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in trying to get a diverse student body for BLS but this is the wrong way to do it. To tell students in certain parts of Boston that they don't have the same shot as students in other parts of Boston of getting into an academically advanced exam school - not because of their academic record but because of where they live and how much people earn (people who have absolutely no connection with any of the students affected) is wrong. If some students are not performing well on the entrance exam, provide intense tutoring already! If they are having trouble in their classes, provide tutoring! Why is BPS and the City not doing more to ensure that those students who need extra help are getting the extra help so that they have an equal shot of getting into BLS?

And why the hell hasn't BPS opened another exam school already? This stressful competition to get into the exam schools has been going on for so long and Boston should have opened another exam school because it's obviously wanted and needed.

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...why not make ALL high schools in BPS up to a high enough standard/quality that students who excel academically would feel equally as excited to go to their neighborhood high school as to go to a selective school? No need to build more exam schools, when there are plenty of schools in existence that with increased investment from the city could be formatted to provide more rigorous college-prep curricula that all students could have access to.

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