Tag Archives: Fairfax

When the Pursuit of “Equity” Cheats High Achievers

by Kerry Dougherty

Imagine for a moment that you’re a top student in a highly competitive science and technology high school.

In your junior year you take the PSATs and enter the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program competing against the elite students in high schools from coast to coast. Imagine that in mid-October of your senior year your school principal is notified that you are a “Commended Student” in that competition, meaning that out of roughly 1.5 million entrants, you scored in the top 3%.

Applications for early decision to the most selective colleges and universities close on October 31 and this sort of distinction could be the difference between an acceptance or a rejection.

Now imagine that your school sat on your award and didn’t bother informing you that you are a Commended Student until mid-November, when it was too late to add that to your resume.

Oh, and instead of announcing your name over the school’s public address system or holding a ceremony to honor you, your teacher simply slapped your certificate on your desk.

You see, school administrators in your high school are apparently more concerned with “equity” and equal outcomes for all kids than in singling out high achievers.

Sucks to be you.

This really happened. At Fairfax County’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, perhaps the most prestigious public high school in the country. Continue reading

Ed Department Office of Civil Rights Rules Against Fairfax County

by Asra Q. Nomani

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Tears of joy came to the eyes of special education advocates Callie Oettinger and Debra Tisler as they read a much-anticipated decision by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

For years, they have been advocating — to deaf ears in Fairfax County Public Schools and the entire state of Virginia — on behalf of students denied educational services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Today, the U.S. Department of Education ruled that they were indeed correct.

“This is a victory for every parent,” said Oettinger. “In 2020, we knew that the actions that FCPS was taking were in noncompliance with IDEA. We are now vindicated, and every parent should contact FCPS to make sure that every child receives COMPENSATORY EDUCATION and other services that meet their needs.”

The key words here are to ask for COMPENSATORY EDUCATION.  Many parents with special needs children paid out of pocket and took on second jobs to pay for tutors and other services to meet educational needs that Fairfax County failed to provide. And many other parents couldn’t afford these extra services, and their children were left behind. Continue reading