The Boston School Committee voted unanimously overnight to drop admissions tests for the city's exams schools for one year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The vote came shortly before 2a.m. on Thursday, after more than eight hours of discussion during a virtual meeting. The decision applies to the 2021-22 school year.
Admissions decisions will be based on students' grades, MCAS scores and zip codes. The new plan awards 20 percent of spots based exclusively on grades. The remaining seats will be based on grades and zip codes, and administrators will focus on areas with the most school-aged children.
A group appointed by the superintendent had recommended that testing be suspended. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh supported the recommendation.
"I want to express my support for this one-year plan," Walsh said in a video statement. "This year is meant to be the first year of a new, more equitable exam, also the result of hard and thoughtful work by the superintendent and her team. Instead, the exam will be given next year to sixth graders in Boston Public Schools and all schools that apply for it."
The city’s exam schools are Boston Latin, Boston Latin Academy and the O’Bryant School of Math and Science.