A teaching union dubbed Birmingham City Council "gutless" for failing to say whether it agreed with academic selection or not.
The National Union of Teachers said the authority's inability to give a straight answer was an opt out designed not to offend the city's seven existing grammars.
The criticism comes in the wake of a Government-backed study that concluded selection contributes to social segregation and means the attainment of some pupils is gained at the expense of others.
The Government last week issued an unequivocal statement of its opposition to academic selection. A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, said: "Our position on academic selection is clear and unchanged - we do not support academic selection at 11.
"It's down to local parents to decide on whether to end grammar school selection and there is a democratic ballot process to do so."
However, when asked to say whether it agreed with selection or not, Birmingham refused to directly answer the question.
Tony Howell, strategic director for Children, Young People and Families, said: "What we need to be developing for the 21st century is the right range of provision that meet the learning needs of all our children and young people and prepare them for the best route for each individual into adult life and the world of work.
"For some children, grammar school is exactly the right pathway.
"Yet for other children and young people they need a very different curriculum, which is as rigorous as grammar schools, but not necessarily a solely academic curriculum.
"What we are developing in Birmingham is a diversity in the range of secondary schools and colleges which will provide success to all our students by giving them access to learning which is focused on their own interests and motivation. We are all aware that children and young people are different and one single education solution is never going to be the answer."
Birmingham's political leaders also appeared reluctant to directly state whether they agreed with academic selection or not.
Both Councillor Mike Whitby (Con Harborne), elected head of the authority, and Coun Les Lawrence (Con Northfield), cabinet member for education, refused to talk on the subject.
Roger King, head of the Birmingham branch of the NUT, said: "They are gutless. Neither the city councillors or any chief education officer or education department have had the guts to tackle the problem meaning the inequalities in Birmingham continue and they are all part of that.
"They will never give a straight answer. The local authority is afraid to alienate parents who are misguided and aren't aware that 90 per cent of pupils who sit the 11-plus fail to get to a grammar school.
"Therefore, 90 per cent of parents are setting their children up for failure."
Elspeth Insch, head of selective King Edward VI Handsworth School, claimed the impact of grammars was exaggerated.
However, she added: "There is regrettably a link between affluence in the family and attainment at age 11."