TJ High School Falls From 1st to 14th Place

Score a big victory for “equity.” The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, ranked the top high school in the country by U.S. News & World Report two years ago, has fallen to 14th place, tweets the Coalition for TJ.

TJ had been the center of an admissions controversy after progressives, who found it scandalous that 70% of the school’s students were of Asian ethnic origin, rejiggered its admissions criteria to make it more demographically diverse. The revised policy, which did succeed in increasing the admission of Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, survived legal challenges that went as far as the U.S. Supreme Court.

But not to worry. By selecting only the highest-achieving kids, TJ had been perpetuating gross inequality with other high schools. Insofar as its standards have been modified and its rankings have tumbled, the inequality gap with peer schools has diminished. Some observers expect TJ’s rankings will fall and the gap to shrink even further as older students admitted under the ancien regime graduate and are replaced by students admitted under the new, more equitable standards.

But even then, the journey to equity has a long way to go. The very concept of academic excellence is an artifact of White heteronormative patriarchal privilege that has been embraced by White-adjacent Asians. Virginia schools will not be truly equitable until all schools are average — none deemed better or worse than the others — and, indeed, until all gradations of excellence within all schools are extinguished. Social justice won’t be achieved until we’re all scrabbling in the dirt together. — JAB


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27 responses to “TJ High School Falls From 1st to 14th Place”

  1. Don’t settle for average —- TJ can achieve sub standard quality with just a bit more effort! More ‘C’ students must be found and brought into the fold.

  2. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    A post on another topic recently looked at SAT scores of Fairfax schools and TJ’s had not changed. Granted, the admissions rules are just taking hold, so we’ll see, but I bet they stay steady. As to how USNWR makes its rankings for its 1,806 remaining subscribers, who gives a flying…? We accept it as gospel? No sign yet that the goose is in distress. There were ALWAYS more students who could benefit from a program like TJ’s and thrive than there were seats available. Creating a second school or more slots was another approach.

    1. DJRippert Avatar
      DJRippert

      “Creating a second school or more slots was another approach.”

      There you go, again … confusing the issue with common sense answers.

  3. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    A post on another topic recently looked at SAT scores of Fairfax schools and TJ’s had not changed. Granted, the admissions rules are just taking hold, so we’ll see, but I bet they stay steady. As to how USNWR makes its rankings for its 1,806 remaining subscribers, who gives a flying…? We accept it as gospel? No sign yet that the goose is in distress. There were ALWAYS more students who could benefit from a program like TJ’s and thrive than there were seats available. Creating a second school or more slots was another approach.

  4. UVAPast Avatar

    Are sports teams now the only thing in education that are based on merit?

  5. Bob X from Texas Avatar
    Bob X from Texas

    Why are Asian kids stereotypically excellent students?
    Is it their skin tone, shape of their eyes, birthplace of their great grand mother? No, it is a culture that puts work before play, that embraces struggle, that watches TV when the home work is complete. Maybe other kids should embrace Asian culture.

    1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      Very stereotypical. I can tell you after teaching 11th grade for 27 years I had plenty of Asian students who watched too much TV, geeked out on Tic Tac, had a million followers on Instant Telegram, stayed up too late at night playing video games, and their parents were pulling out their hair just like the rest of the moms and dads.

    2. DJRippert Avatar
      DJRippert

      It’s the White Supremacy in America that makes the Asians so successful.

      Wait!?!

      Must be Asian Privilege.

      Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  6. Not Today Avatar
    Not Today

    The sky is falling when a school moves from #1 to #14 out of 20,000+ high schools in the U.S. according to *checks notes* an opaque, proprietary ranking system deployed by a private company trying to sell test prep books?

  7. Not Today Avatar
    Not Today

    The sky is falling when a school moves from #1 to #14 out of 20,000+ high schools in the U.S. according to *checks notes* an opaque, proprietary ranking system deployed by a private company trying to sell test prep books?

  8. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    A rising tide floats all boats. Relative motion, JAB, relative motion.

    “It’s the show where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter!”

  9. Irene Leech Avatar
    Irene Leech

    Really? I don’t think anyone is trying to make all average – and definitely not sub standard. We seek opportunity for all and the best achievement for all vs some not even having a chance. What criteria did the school decline in for the ranking?

    1. walter smith Avatar
      walter smith

      There already is opportunity for all. But making the outcome reflect some ideologically imposed (Marxist) racial balance only deprives the truly excellent of the excellent STEM education they could thrive even more through. And give it to others less deserving. And pull down quality at the same time. Some people are better at some things than others. We recognize this in sports…unless you are an ideological zealot who denies true reality to allow men to compete against (and dominate) women in sports.

      I think there will be a further drop in rankings as the students and the faculty and the admin of the ancien regime pass. Fairfax and NoVa could be proud of having such a school, but would rather ruin it (it will be ruined in the longer run – give it time – Marxism only destroys – at some point you hope the so-called smart people of NoVa will figure that out. But like the “smart” people in Cali, they are more determined to kill the goose that laid the golden egg). Equity!

    2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      Math scores seems to be the culprit. The school is still number 1 in the state and dC metro area.
      https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/virginia/districts/fairfax-county-public-schools/thomas-jefferson-high-school-for-science-and-technology-20461

    3. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
      f/k/a_tmtfairfax

      There is nothing wrong per se with holding open slots for all parts of Fairfax County. The problem is that FCPS eliminated the standardized admission test. So, the new admissions process does not ensure that everyone who is admitted is qualified. The pool used to include all test qualified kids in Fairfax County. The pool is now some test qualified kids and some non-test-qualified kids in the County.

      As you sow, so do you reap. The reputation of TJ will continue to slide.

  10. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    It is all in how it looks! 14th may be better than 1st. Or, it may not. In my humble opinion, the diversity issue is important. Is it TJ, the receiving school, or is it the lack of rigor for economically disadvantaged kids from the sending school – or both?

    It is easy to be #1 when the enrollment does not include those kids who are very bright but have had challenges. When TJ was tossed the baton, they fell short of understanding what the new enrollment needed. Likewise, the schools didn’t prepare the newly enrolled to meet the challenge of TJ.

    I think one would have to understand the full mission and vision at TJ. If the mission and vision have changed – take all – but the structure hasn’t changed, the vision will not be realized.

    I can’t make you climb a ladder to the roof if you have a broken leg. By letting you get to the roof via an elevator doesn’t change anything, you can do the same things on the roof as they those that climbed the ladder. This is an example of equal. Everyone can get to the roof by way of ladder or elevator.

    However, if only 20 kids are allowed on the roof, and 2 have broken legs while 25 don’t, seven kids aren’t going to the roof. They may all be made equal by the use of the elevator – but a line has to be drawn so that only 20 move to the roof, by way of elevator or ladder. Which 20 go? Do you give preference to the 2 that have to travel by elevator first? How do you draw the line? This is when equity is considered.

    My suggestion, create more space on the roof. Means to an end.

    1. walter smith Avatar
      walter smith

      How do I nicely say…you’re crazy?
      The world is full of different people. All different. And all those different people live in different circumstances. The America that was – before being infected by the new Marxism – was as close to Utopia as could be achieved in a free society. Which also had the benefit of creating the best living conditions ever. That’s just reality. All that is being done by your silly analogy is you will collapse the roof by putting all these people on it who don’t deserve to be there. And lower the quality. And standards. Benefitting no one, except perhaps the beneficiary of the spot taken from the more deserving. And you think that will benefit society? No, it tears it apart.
      But…to the extent you live above the mean, give it all up …for equity!

      1. dave schutz Avatar
        dave schutz

        MY question is hownaHell JAB wrote this post without mentioning Harrison Bergeron??? http://wordfight.org/bnw/bnw-unit_packet.pdf

        1. walter smith Avatar
          walter smith

          I had never read the story before. Thank you.

      2. Kathleen Smith Avatar
        Kathleen Smith

        I have been called crazy many times.

        1. walter smith Avatar
          walter smith

          It is an impossibility denying what it means to be human. Making all boringly, blindingly, “equal” when they aren’t.
          And I don’t think I have thought your other posts crazy – sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

      3. Kathleen Smith Avatar
        Kathleen Smith

        My point is that the roof can only hold 20 so 7 lose. Equal and equity are not the same. The only way to solve the problem is to open another roof. Otherwise, 7 of the 27 will not have the same opportunity of 20.

        1. walter smith Avatar
          walter smith

          No…you’re getting into participation trophy territory. I got cut from Little League . I made it next year. That’s life.

  11. William O'Keefe Avatar
    William O’Keefe

    Meritocracy ought to be a fundamental principle; TJ out not discriminate against Asians. We need as a nation to stop accepting mediocrity in the pursuit of excellence.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Mediocrity in the pursuit of equity is no vice and excellence in the pursuit of meritocracy is no virtue?

      What a bizarre place we’ve come to.

  12. Not Today Avatar
    Not Today

    The sky is falling when a school moves from #1 to #14 out of 20,000+ high schools in the U.S. according to *checks notes* an opaque, proprietary ranking system deployed by a private company trying to sell test prep books?

  13. Stanwood Avatar

    This story certainly hasn’t aged well: https://www.baconsrebellion.com/a-rejoinder-on-the-tj-fall/

    Maybe try republishing in a few years when the premise behind your priors actually applies. Of course by then the rankings may have “risen” from a lowly 14/20,000 to 10/20,000 and you’ll have nobody to blame but the dirty commies who decided to stop rewarding a life of test prep over a more balanced childhood.

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