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The Nation

February 05, 1989

A federal judge ordered New York state to stop awarding college scholarships based on Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, saying the widely used exam is unfair to girls. Lawyers said the ruling was the first in the country to declare that the SAT tests, the standardized exam used to determine admission at most colleges, discriminates against any group, although they have been assailed as being biased against minorities. U.S. District Judge John Walker in Manhattan said the tests failed to accurately reflect a student's academic achievement or grasp of high school curriculum. "The evidence is clear that females score significantly lower than males on the SAT while they perform equally or slightly better than males in high school," Walker said. He ruled that exclusive use of SAT scores to award state scholarships violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

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