Equity Is Possible Without Sacrificing Excellence

The class of 2025 of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County has greater diversity. By removing the admission fee and entrance examination, and introducing a more holistic view of applicants plus assigning slots to middle schools, we now have one in four students (25%) from economically disadvantaged homes. That is a marked improvement from 0.6% in the previous class. The grade point average of accepted students for the class of 2025 is 3.95, similar to previous classes. Equity is indeed possible without sacrificing excellence.

Above copied from NBCWashington

Equity being possible without doing away with excellence is surely an important lesson to be learned. However, there is an additional lesson that we should not miss. Albeit the class of 2025 is larger than previous classes, it is still evident that available slots still fall short of the number of students who wish to enter a special school for science and technology. The demand is great, which is a good thing. What is important then is to meet this demand. Thomas Jefferson High School is attractive to students for so many reasons. It has better facilities. Every high school must provide opportunities to grow and excel in math and the sciences. Having these resources present in only one school creates inequity. Equity is not about handing ribbons to all students. Equity is about providing opportunities for all. With this, the task is indeed greater, but it must be done. Only then will the county truly serve and support each and every child. It is not really the job of the county to sort children. The job of the county is to serve all children.

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