Fairfax County schools continue to lead the nation in progressive policies. Now, in an effort to fight racism, the school district has agreed to end merit-based admissions to its most promising high school because such measures of academic achievement allegedly hurt black and Hispanic students.
Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, wrote about the new developments in Fairfax County for the Federalist, arguing that the new policies at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology are angering parents of minority students:
However, in superficial and dubious response to the killing of George Floyd last year, the Fairfax County School Board’s 12 members recently eliminated the race-blind, merit-based admissions tests to the largely Asian school. They argued high test performance was a “barrier” to black and Hispanic students. Most TJ students have tested in the top 2 percent of nationally normed tests that measure cognitive development, with IQ levels largely ranging from gifted at about 120 to genius at about 160.
School officials have replaced the tests with a “holistic” popularity contest for students who best fit their “Portrait of Student,” with race-based criterion, middle school quotas, and subjective markers about whether a student is an “Ethical/Global Citizen,” “Creative and Critical Thinker,” “Goal-Directed and Resilient Individual,” “Innovator,” “Problem Solver,” “Leader,” “Collaborator” and “Communicator.”
In addition to the new approach to recruiting students, Nomani reported that school officials also suggested teaching critical race theory, a “controversial and divisive ideology” that teaches whites are inherently racist and must atone for their racism regardless of their actions.
Harry Jackson, described by Nomani as an “NAACP member and the first black student admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy from Lancaster County, Pa.,” told the Federalist that he didn’t agree with the newfound racial politics. Jackson is also the father of one of the 17 middle-school students who sued Fairfax County schools, demanding test results be restored as the fairest way to decide admissions. At a virtual hearing of the Fairfax County Circuit Court on the lawsuit, a lawyer for the school system desperately tried to suggest that TJ is not a school for gifted students, even though it has been deemed as such for decades.
“The attack on gifted education is not only a loss for students, but it’s a loss for our country. It’s a national security issue,” Jackson told Nomani. “As a nation, we should be supporting and nourishing our greatest minds. They will be our scientists, engineers, inventors, and innovators of industry. Their contributions will cross so many sectors: IT, defense, health care, government, and the arts. Our TJ graduates have an outsized positive impact on society for their numbers. They should be supported, not punished.”
As Nomani reported, numerous parent groups have organized across the country, from Massachusetts and New York to California, in order to oppose the radical racial ideology that seeks to eliminate programs for high-performing students.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.