Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax, Virginia will continue a new admissions policy that focuses on admitting students based on the color of their skin, instead of achievement. The Supreme Court rejected an emergency request to block the race-based admissions policy, which parents claim will discriminate against 70% of the student body which is made up of Asian Americans. Students who have had to work hard to be admitted will now be joining classmates who were given no aptitude test, and are brought in solely to expand racial diversity.
In February US District Judge Claude Hilton issued an injunction banning the school from using the policy. The new admissions policy was deemed discriminatory, regardless of the intentions. By the end of March, an appeals decision was reached. A 3 Judge 4th Court Circuit panel allowed the school to resume its new policy on temporary grounds.
A group of community members were so distraught at this racially divisive admissions policy that they came together and formed an organization called, Coalition for TJ. This coalition notes that they are made up of mostly Asian Americans and immigrant families who opposed the school’s decision to remove a racially unbiased test in order to admit students who excelled academically in favor of a policy that uses skin color as a determining factor for entrance as a student. They are being supported by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, who filed the emergency request after the appeals court overturned their victory.
This case held the power to set a precedent for schools looking to institute a racially-biased admissions policy that rewards identity over academics. It held so much weight that the Attorney Generals of 15 other states worked with Miyares to file the appeal as well. Now that the Supreme Court ruled to dismiss the case, they will have to find another way or accept that Thomas Jefferson High School is now more focused on skin color than student performance.
This is becoming increasingly common in public education, colleges across the nation, and even some corporate settings. Employers have gone so far as to single out white workers and even encourage them to “be less white.” As many schools update their admissions policy so they are in favor of diversity, student performance has suffered, enrollment has dropped, teachers are quitting in record numbers, and minority families are voicing their opposition to having their child be seen as just the “token black guy.” This comes after the Biden Administration forced through executive order 13985 which offers more funding to schools that focus on creating racial and gender equity. This legislation implements identity politics in the classroom in order to further equity of outcome instead of equal opportunities. This means that students who work extra hard to excel will reap the same rewards as students who do not.
How these kinds of initiatives and the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s admissions policy have affected long-term success rates will not be known for some time. What is clear is that parents who wish for their children to receive the best education possible — free of systematically instituted racially-biased policies — must research each school they are considering. Every institute of learning seems to have its own rules and regulations regarding identity politics, and now that the Supreme Court has allowed a top school to discriminate against top achievers in the name of racial sensitivity, one may wonder what this means for intelligent students who don’t look the way that schools want them to.