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Supreme Court offers possible road map for schools to diversify top programs

Considering race is not allowed, but court signals that socioeconomic factors are acceptable

When the Supreme Court allowed an elite magnet school in Northern Virginia to continue using a new system for admissions aimed at diversifying its student body last week, other schools were watching.

Across the country, districts have been unsettled by the makeup of their top academic programs, especially scant numbers of Black and Hispanic students, and many have implemented new admissions systems. But a question loomed: Would this be legal given the Supreme Court's decisions, including its ruling last year outlawing affirmative action for higher education?

Now schools may have something of a road map: Taking race into account is verboten, but consideration of neighborhood, socioeconomics and other factors might be all right.


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