OMLO Partner Thomas M. Madruga successfully represented Compton Unified School District in a groundbreaking lawsuit seeking to prevent the University of California (UC) from considering standardized test scores, including the SAT and ACT, as part of the admissions process. Initially filed against the UC system in December 2019, the suit alleged that such testing violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution, along with civil rights and disability protections under California law.
In August 2020, Alameda County Superior Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, a coalition of students, nonprofits, and the Compton Unified School District. This decision was later upheld on appeal.
Under the terms of the final settlement, signed on May 14, 2021, UC admissions officers will no longer see standardized test scores through at least 2025, even if students submit them. The settlement provides all students, regardless of factors such as race, class, and disability, with equal opportunity to access higher education at the UC’s nine campus locations, and is likely to send a message to all higher education institutions regarding the discriminatory barrier created by college admissions exams.