Thomas Jefferson High School & The War on Merits Based Academics

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology is ranked the number one school in the United States. The school, located in Fairfax County Virginia, rightfully had a highly competitive admissions process which brought only the best students into its ranks.

In the last year, this has all changed, and author, former Wall St. Journal Correspondent, and vice president of strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education, Asra Q. Nomani, recently sat down with City-Journal.Org to explain why.

Unfortunately, in the name of “social justice,” bureaucrats and activists decided, in December 2020, to replace TJ’s merit-based, race-blind admissions with a “holistic” process that is essentially a subjective popularity contest and a zip-code quota system.

Nomani goes on to explain the new position taken by the school district’s officials and its race-based quotas, which she likens to a “purge against Asian-Americans:”

“School district officials announced that, as a result of their new admissions system, they had slashed the percentage of Asian students admitted to TJ to 54 percent this year, from 73 percent last year. The percentage of blacks and Hispanics increased—as it also did for white students.

Parents in the district have now taken the district to court, arguing that their children’s equal protection rights under the law have been violated.

But in joining the parents’ battle against Thomas Jefferson High, Nomani has also waded into the struggle against a greater nationwide network of activists and ideologues who are attempting to undo merit-based systems and politically indoctrinate students around the country:

“These activists are pitting students against each other by dividing them into categories of “oppressed” and “oppressor,” separating students based on race, and creating a new hierarchy of human value that is bigoted, cruel, and racist.

This new subversive system was also highlighted in October, when New York City abruptly announced an end to its “Gifted & Talented” programs.

Beginning next school year, the program which enrolls roughly 2,500 new students per year using an intelligence assessment test on the city’s 4 year-olds, will cease to exist, according to ABC News.

The outlet also referenced the race-based justification for ending the merits-based program:

“About three-fourths of the roughly 16,000 students are white or of Asian descent, while Black and Latino students make up the rest — despite accounting for about two-thirds of the city’s 1 million public school children.

One person cited in the ABC report said the quiet part out loud:

Public education should not actually be rooted in competition because it’s the right that everyone should have.

Ultimately, views like this imply that all students will perform equally if gifted and merit-based programs are nixed. This, of course, isn’t true. Instead, children who are able to perform at higher levels than their peers will be held back as social planners attempt to enact their ideologically based racial utopia. Not only is the Left’s new race-based society a complete rejection of the Civil Rights Era “content of character” mantra espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr., it will further erode America’s educational system.

Ultimately, it is a rejection of America’s core principles of individual merit over tribal or socio-economic affiliation, and perhaps this is the point.

In closing, Asra Nomani sums up the threat of this movement best when she says:

We’re…not going to reproduce what’s understood as American exceptionalism—this understanding that America is a land at the top of a beautiful mountain and that all other countries, nations, and people are less than America.

Image Credit: Photo by Mche Lee on Unsplash

Grassroots Pulse covers public policy and political issues aimed at engaging highly-active policymakers, donors, and grassroots leaders at the forefront of the political process in America today.

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