Highly skilled black, Latino students face admission barriers to exam schools, study finds

Black and Latino students who do as well as their white and Asian peers on the MCAS exam nonetheless have a much lower chance of being admitted to Boston Latin School and the city’s two other exam schools, according to a Harvard report being released Tuesday.

Their path is hindered by a separate test — designed for private institutions — that students applying to the city’s top-flight exam schools must take. Black and Latino students do notably worse on that exam and also take it at lower rates.

“MCAS scores in fifth grade identify a substantial number of high-skilled black and Hispanic students who currently do not enroll in exam schools,” the report said. “Assigning students to exam schools based on such scores could increase the number of black and Latino students at BLS by up to 50 percent.”