Fairfax County School Board To Appeal Ruling Against Racial Balancing Efforts

Fairfax County School Board submitted an AppealA recent court decision against controversial admissions procedures at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (TJ), an Alexandria-based magnet school, was challenged. 

The New admissions policyThe school hoped to have a higher proportion of Hispanics and black students. The new policy was criticized by Judge Claude M. Hilton of U.S District Court for Eastern District of Virginia. 

Before the controversial admissions policy, 73% of all TJs were ineligible. Students were Asian American. The school had a 1 percent Black student and 3.3% Hispanic teacher in 2021. This was in a county where 10 percent and 16 percent respectively are blacks and Hispanics. The school was eventually closed. Described Didi Elsyad was one of six students from black grades at TJ. As “segregation as it is today.” 

After George Floyd’s death, Fairfax County School Board was established in 2020. Changes that are dramaticThe school’s admissions policy is for the year 2021-2022. To be admitted to TJ’s semifinalist round, students had to pass three hours of standard tests. TJ accepts students from many Northern Virginia districts. In the new policy, applicants are required to be either enrolled or have completed middle school honors courses that include the same content as the standardized test. TJ’s admissions committee also received a “student record sheet”, which allowed the school board to include information such as income, learning disabilities and native English language proficiency. A percentage limit was also set for the number of students who can be sent from each feeder middle school. 

These changes were a result of Amazing effectAccording to the lawsuit the class in 2024 had 73 percent Asians, while that of the 2025 class has 54 percent Asians. The black student share increased from less that 1 percent to 7 percent for the class of 2024, while the Hispanic student share increased from 3.3 to 11 percent. 

Following the announcement of the new admissions policies, the Coalition for TJ was created by 17 Northern Virginia families. These included many parents of TJ applicants or students. FiledThe school board was sued. They claimed the school board had illegally discriminated against Asian students by allowing them to use race-blind standard tests instead.

In February Judge Hilton accepted. He StrikeFairfax County Schools ordered Fairfax County Schools not to continue with their current admissions process because it “disproportionately deprives” Asian American applicants. 

Monday saw the school board file an appeal, alleging that it does not account for existing case law. Additionally, the school board ClaimThe school division’s intention was to create a system that eliminates the screening obstacles that historically have negatively impacted students of diverse backgrounds.

It is expected that the school will have to fight for its policy. It claims it has removed “systemic barriers”, but it appears that it did so by trying reduce the Asian American student body. According to one Fairfax County School Board Member TextA second comment on the proposed changes is: “I mean, there has been an anti Asian feeling underlying some of it. Hate to say it lol.” 

The solution to issues of educational opportunity and lack of diversity—essentially, problems caused by past racial discrimination—cannot be solved by adopting the “right” kind of racial discrimination now.

Harry Jackson, the black father and student at TJ who was also a member the Coalition for TJ wrote this in The Washington PostI would like to see the school have more Hispanic or Black students. The problem is not the standards, but the students who aren’t making it to the top. More likely, the primary school system is not preparing them for TJ.

TJ’s increase in Hispanic and black students should be achieved by improving the performance of Fairfax County schools to allow more middle school students of color to pass its entrance exam. 

As soon as TJ graduates enter, they are expected to be able handle AP mathematics and computer sciences. Aditya Kumar, a recent TJ alum, tells There are reasons. “I don’t think that middle school performance can accurately predict this, but I do believe that a hard standardized exam can.”

However, this new policy doesn’t have to be all bad. Removing the school’s $100 application fee—a change that occurred alongside the new admissions standards—makes it significantly easier for lower-income students with high aptitudes to gain entrance into the school fair and square.

These issues are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Jan. Supreme CourtIt said that it will hear complaints about Harvard’s admissions policies regarding race at the University of North Carolina.