Boston Public Schools has received three bids from companies to provide a new entrance test for the city’s exam schools, the district announced today.

The bidders that met a noon deadline were Strategic Measurement and Evaluation of Lafayette, Ind., NWEA of Portland, Ore., and Riverside Assessments of Itasca, Ill. No bids were submitted in an earlier round that ended in March, forcing the district to reopen the competition.

“A new test is the next best step to removing barriers,” Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in a statement. “Our goal is for students to have a better chance at demonstrating their abilities with a test that reflects what they will be taught in school.”

An entrance exam, along with grades, is used for admitting students to Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science.

Since the 1990s, the Independent School Entrance Exam has served that purpose. Local private schools, including Boston College High School and Milton Academy, also use the ISEE.

Boston’s latest contract for that test ended this year. ISEE has not been shown to accurately predict the high school performance of black and Latino students, as WGBH News has reported.

Latino and black students make up 73 percent of the district’s 50,000 students. But they have long been underrepresented at the exam schools, particularly Boston Latin, where the enrollment is 74 percent white or Asian.

“Boston Public Schools (BPS) is committed to expanding access to our nation-leading exam schools for more of our students, especially our Black and Latinx students who have historically been under-represented,” Cassellius said today.

The nonprofit that administers the ISEE, the Educational Records Bureau based in New York City, was the sole bidder going back to at least 2012, WGBH News reported in 2018. It was awarded the contracts even though the test did not meet a bid specification — at least in the most recent bidding rounds — that it be racially and ethnically unbiased.

The latest request for proposals said the new test “would be part of the district’s ongoing efforts to close opportunity gaps for students who have been historically marginalized. For this reason, the assessment must be validated for use with diverse populations.”

The bid specifications also said the new test should be aligned with the state’s curriculum standards for math and English language arts. ISEE includes material that goes beyond what most Boston public school students learn by the time they take the test, like algebra in the sixth grade, a mismatch that gave private school students and ones whose parents could afford tutors an advantage.

Last year, Lawyers for Civil Rights sent Cassellius a letter around the time she took office in July demanding the ISEE be dropped and threatening a lawsuit. Early in her tenure, she signaled its days as the exam school test were numbered, citing its cost of $140 per student as a financial issue.

“We could talk this over and see are there other options in terms of the exam,” Cassellius said on WGBH News' Boston Public Radio days after she took office. “There might be something that, quite frankly, will save us money.”

Cassellius was blunter in a November appearance on WGBH’s Basic Black saying, “It’s likely there will be a new test.” She added that the ISEE might continue to be used if it was shown to be unbiased and modified to fit state curriculum standards.

The three bidders are a mix of relatively new and established enterprises. Strategic Measurement and Evaluation was founded in 2006.

NWEA, formerly Northwest Evaluation Association, was established in 1973. Boston already uses its MAP Growth evaluation in grades K-8, and Chicago Public Schools also uses the test, according to NWEA spokeswoman Simona Beattie.

In 2018, a spokeswoman told WGBH News the not-for-profit company was “not typically” interested in providing entrance exams “like the ISEE.” Asked what has changed since then, Beattie replied in an email: "We still don’t focus on entrance exams if that will be the only measure being used by a district or school. Per the RFP, BPS will use data from whichever assessment solution they choose as one part of the overall admissions criteria."

Riverside Assessments LLC is a spinoff of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the textbook publisher founded in Boston in 1852. Riverside administers the well-known Iowa Assessments, once known as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

“We will carefully review these bids to ensure they meet the criteria we set forth,” Cassellius said. “We understand the urgency families feel and we will continue to keep them informed as we move forward.”

Cognia Inc., a nonprofit in Georgia that administers the MCAS, did not submit a bid. Harvard researchers had recommended MCAS as an alternative to the ISEE, saying its adoption would lead to the admission of more black and Latino students.

Boston Public Schools is scheduled to announce in June which bidder’s test will be given starting this fall to students who live in Boston.