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Florida Scholarship Program Was Not Unfair to Minorities, U.S. Ed. Dept. Finds

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program did not violate anti-discrimination laws by requiring students to use ACT and SAT scores as part of its application process, the U.S. Department of   Education's Office for Civil Rights has ruled.

The office looked into complaints that requiring standardized test scores had a negative impact on black and Latino students' chances of being awarded the full scholarships. The investigation found that using the scores did hurt students from those minority groups, but the requirement was not illegal.

(See Miami Herald article for full story.)

Bright Futures uses ACT and SAT scores, along with grade-point averages and other factors when considering scholarship awards.

The original complaint of unlawful discrimination and racial bias was filed by the National Center for Fair and Open Testing in 2002. FairTest maintained the rigid test score requirements (ACT score of 29 or SAT of 1290) has resulted in the awards going to disproportionately few African-American and Latino students.

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