Although senior Didi Elsad supports changes to the admissions process, when she first learned of the merit lottery proposal, she was far from happy. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. "My office will continue to collaborate closely with the School Board to ensure that the proposed changes will help all students have access to TJ based on the merit of their application and not based on test scores and unequal access to preparation programs," said Brabrand. Depending on how the next few weeks go, the admissions change could be implemented as early as February 2021. The proposal touted Tuesday by Superintendent Scott Brabrand would eliminate a high-stakes admissions test used to judge applicants for the Thomas Jefferson High School for … “It’s going to take a radical change to change TJ for the better.” Interestingly enough, senior Thinh Vo, who took the admissions test but did not make the cut, doesn’t think the admissions process should change. "Does anyone know why there are so few Black and Latino students in TJ? Only 2020-2021 TJ PTSA … Although there have been many efforts to increase diversity in the admissions process, those have largely failed to make significant or lasting change. TJ Admissions Advisory Group Update . Who’s Making the Leap. In the current policy, applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above in core classes (like math, science, English, etc. “A combination of two different tests—the ACT Aspire and Quant Q—were selected to replace the old test. The FCPS School Board will discuss this revised proposal at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, October 6. ", Commenting on the $100 application fee used in other years, Brabrand said, "A fee frankly is a way to send a message [that] this is something for you to be a part of or not. In recent years, changes to the TJ admissions policy aimed at improving diversity did not have a significant impact on demographics of applicants or admitted students. During the Oct. 8 comment portion of the regular Fairfax County School Board meeting, feedback from 15 parents, students and constituents who signed up to speak revealed a sharp divide on the proposed Revised Admissions policy. Since 2011, FCPS has … Substack Is Attracting Big DC Journos. Subject: Re:Lawsuit against TJ admissions changes . TJ’s admissions debate goes back decades. TJ has a competitive admissions process involving a student application, an entrance exam, an essay, a "student information sheet" and letters of recommendation. Target recruitment also included the provision to provide underrepresented students STEM programming to generate excitement of learning math and science. She Doesn’t Work There. Pathway Composition to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. One change in Brabrand’s vision that could address that issue is the GPA requirement. Proposed next step responses included targeted outreach to eighth grade students, recruitment letters, virtual open houses and presentations to students, parents and the community to the 95 participating middle schools and 100+ private schools. Fairfax County Public Schools officials on Sept. 23 gave their rationale for proposed admissions-policy changes at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (TJ… Please Do Not Call This DC Bookstore Looking for AOC. The Coalition for TJ opposes the superintendent’s admissions changes and the TJ Alumni Action Group supports revisions such as abolishing the test. Subject: Lawsuit against TJ admissions changes . Fairfax, VA (October 2, 2020) – The Fairfax County NAACP announces its support for the changes to the TJ Admissions process proposed by FCPS at the September 15, 2020 meeting of the School Board. Submit the application. They are your constituents too even though they may not even know that the Board exists to serve their needs. It is unlikely that any judge will impose a permanent freeze whereby admission standards at TJ can’t be changed no matter what the circumstances are. The proposal to change Thomas Jefferson’s admissions policy has touched off a spirited debate in Northern Virginia. All rights reserved. The FCPS Board will be violating state law by getting rid of the test, and 2. their children are being denied an opportunity (imminent threatened harm is the injury-in-fact) based on violation of the law if it goes forward. FCAG has been involved in TJHSST Admissions in a variety of ways over the past few years. Many of the Asian-American parents at TJ have argued that the school is already diverse, and that the efforts to change the … Fewer than ten Black students were offered admission, a number so low that it wasn’t included in the FCPS news release reporting class statistics. Northam and Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, to recommend to the Virginia State Legislature changes to TJ and its admissions process, potentially replacing TJ’s race-blind admissions process with race-based options including a lottery, quotas and an admissions adversity scoring bump … Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni has been working to change the admissions process at all Governor’s Schools to improve diversity. However, he acknowledged concern that the two-tiered admissions process may have unintended impacts on the Caring Culture at TJHSST and may continue to admit more students from a few top-performing FCPS middle schools. "However, we urge the FCPS School Board to make changes to [the] admissions process for TJHSST cautiously, and with an amount of deliberation commensurate with the scope of the changes." At the Oct. 7 Community Town Hall on the Admissions Policy, Brabrand said, "We know historically over decades we have been challenged having the diversity of the TJ admitted class match the diversity of Fairfax County Public Schools." Some who spoke at the meeting cited concern over a two-tiered admission process, impact on the prestigious school and unintentional discrimination while others applauded the effort to increase admittance for underrepresented groups. (Allow 24 hours, minimum, for this verification to be completed.) TJ ADMISSIONS MERIT LOTTERY PROPOSAL SCHOOL BOARD WORK SESSION 9/15/2020. Opinion: Letter to the Editor: A World Without Trees? Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday. As background, since TJHSST is a regional Governor's school within Fairfax County Public Schools, an applicant’s pathway to the school is not only as a Fairfax County Public Schools student but also as a student residing in Loudoun, Arlington, Falls Church, Prince William and if attending a private school. The remaining 400 seats would be filled by a merit lottery, with FCPS region slots proportional to student enrollment. The Coalition for TJ, an organization of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science snd Technology parents, students, alumni and community members, opposes the lottery system that Fairfax County Public Schools has issued to replace the current academic-based admissions process for TJ. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology needs to change its admissions policy, according to Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Scott Brabrand. In 2017, TJHSST changed its admissions test and the testing date. Since its founding in 1985, the student population has remained mostly white and Asian students. “Dozens of alumni over the years have shared stories of how they were made to feel that they didn’t belong due to racism, classism, and ableism. See below for a letter from the Loudoun County School Board, listing its collective concerns over proposed changes (by Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand on September 15) admissions at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”).The main concerns by the Loudoun County School Board members, as expressed to the Fairfax County School Board, are: 1) … The merit lottery plan not only projects to improve admissions numbers for Black, Latinx, and economically disadvantaged students, but would also lessen the emotional burden of both being … Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. There are two stages of selection and qualification. The meeting was open to the public, drawing a crowd consisting of faculty, families and others concerned with potential changes previously discussed in educational circles and in the media. “TJ wouldn’t be as prestigious as it is now,” Vo said. The revised admissions process is the most radical change that TJ has seen since its founding in 1985, although school officials have made other adjustments at … New York City officials announced changes to middle and high school admissions to improve fairness and balance inequities across the system. Based on a holistic review of their applications, the highest-evaluated students would be offered an opportunity to fill 100 of the available 500 seats. said in a news release statement on the proposal, anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Wonder Woman Kicked So Much Butt at Landmark Mall That They Had to Turn It Into a Hospital, Truck Filled With 20,000 Pounds of Cheese Balls Overturns on Beltway, Commander Salamander Makes a Surprise Return For “Wonder Woman” Filming, Yet Another Trump March Promised for January 6 in DC, Trump Fans File Permit Application for January 6 Rally, Hundreds of Bow-Hunters Will Reduce Fairfax’s Deer Population This Fall. The new system would eliminate the admissions test and $100 application fee and introduce a “merit lottery” process. On Sept. 23, FCPS presented a Community Town Hall with Brabrand to hear feedback on proposed policy changes to TJHSST Admissions. Send Us Your First Day of (Virtual) School Pictures! But unlike in years past, TJ alums and students spoke out after this announcement to share their painful experiences with racism and demand that the school overhaul its skewed policy. Fairfax Station/Clifton/Lorton Connection, Opinion: Commentary: Reform at America’s #1 High School Is Good for All, Including Asian Americans, Pressure Mounts on Return to School in Fairfax County, Thomas Jefferson Class of 2019: 70% Asian, 1.6% Black, Editorial: Readers Respond on TJ Admissions, Appetite: Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers to Support Alexandria Restaurants, Two Dogs, One Family Add Up to Joy for Everyone, Artists Picture Climate Change in Winter Exhibit. Auto-generated email is sent to applicant and parent after verification advising them they may complete the application. 3. Other requirements including the problem-solving essay, student information sheet, algebra I in the eighth grade, and minimum GPAs in math and science would be retained. Stop worrying about what activities or academic prep other parents choose. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. Supporting Changes to the TJ Admissions Process Fairfax, VA (October 2, 2020) – The Fairfax County NAACP announces its support for the changes to the TJ Admissions process proposed by FCPS at the September 15, 2020 meeting of the School Board. Parents bend over backwards for their child’s potential admission, moving families across the state to fulfill residency requirements and enrolling their kids in after-school programs to prepare them for the TJ admissions test (with “some starting as early as third grade,” Washingtonian reported in 2017). TJHSST Current Admissions Policy. A link to a TJ PTSA survey about this plan was emailed to our members tonight. “Changing the TJ admissions process takes a big step toward much-needed improvements to the climate at the school,” TJAAG says. The proposal to change Thomas Jefferson’s admissions policy has touched off a spirited debate in Northern Virginia. The highest-evaluated 100 students would be offered admissions. A summary of the proposed Revised Merit Lottery plan is included below. He added that during the School Board Work Session the night before, Oct. 6, the Board provided consensus to eliminate the battery of tests, Quant-Q, ACT Aspire Reading and Science, that were "squeezing out the diversity in our students as they seek to become part of the admitted class at TJ. ); the new policy would increase that to 3.5. TJ Proposed Admissions Changes for the Class of 2025 The most current documents FCAG has provided to the school board regarding proposed TJ admissions changes can be found at FCAG Report: Diversity with Excellence at TJ. "Because we don't get emails and letters from their parents… does not mean that they don't pray for opportunities or resources for access. Lawsuit challenges admissions changes at elite Thomas Jefferson High School The Associated Press November 5, 2020, 5:26 PM The plaintiffs are represented by Bill Hurd and Chris Carlson of Troutman, Pepper, Hamilton, Sanders, LLC. The process to change TJHSST Admissions Policy began Sept. 15 when Brabrand presented his recommendations to the School Board to improve diversity by establishing a Merit Lottery System. Get one year of the magazine and our January issue for $18! An additional three events related to the matter occurred the first full week in October. (Allow 24 hours, minimum, for this verification to be completed.) The school board is planning to have a virtual town hall for students, parents, and community members on Wednesday, September 23. The ACT Aspire test will test reading and science skills, and the Quant Q will test math skills. Agenda. FCAG has been involved in TJHSST Admissions in a variety of ways over the past few years. “TJ wouldn’t be as prestigious as it is now,” Vo said. Srinivas Akella is the parent of a seventh-grader who aspires to attend TJ. ", Countering, Srinivas Akella questioned the racial code-based system, saying it would institutionalize the very racism that it claimed to fight. Applicant and parent must both electronically sign. “A combination of two different tests—the ACT Aspire and Quant Q—were selected to replace the old test. Brabrand said that the Board also asked him, on Oct. 6, to look at additional capacity space at TJ, its "pathways" and to provide additional slots, not just for Fairfax County Public Schools but also for regional partners whose children apply and are admitted to the school. “This can discourage potential candidates from applying or advancing to the pool of semifinalists.”. We are quite concerned about the existence of a Governor’s task force, quietly created in July 2020 by Gov. © … 5. Kids Aren’t Going Back to School—and Parents Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands, Kevin the Classroom Guinea Pig Is Staying in Touch With Kindergartners Via Zoom, Photos: A Look Back at 2020, a Very Long, Very Strange Year in Washington DC, Trump’s New Kennedy Center Board Appointee Paolo Zampolli Has Some Ideas: Picasso Exhibits, Soccer Stars, Franchise Deals. At the Oct. 6 School Board Work Session, the Superintendent's newly revised Admissions proposal showed a rolling admissions process to keep a class of 500 students. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology needs to change its admissions policy, according to Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Scott Brabrand. Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni has been working to change the admissions process at all Governor's Schools to improve diversity. 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