When The New York Times published a story on the admissions legal battle at Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson High School hundreds (and hundreds) of comments appeared. Many of those claimed that altered admissions standards for the “elite” school were an assault on “meritocracy.” “The only thing admissions should be based on is merit” was a constant refrain from those who believe that “merit” is only deduced by a multiple choice test for which (for a few thousand dollars) your child can be “prepped.”
Running alongside this argument was the “model minority” theme (though, this being The Times, those words were avoided). The reason TJHS had become mostly Asian (and white) is simply that those racial groups “value education” and “invest in their children,” in obvious contrast with the (undescribed, of course) lazy, irresponsible African-Americans and LatinX.
Not all, I need to make clear. Many (including myself) pushed back on both of these white supremacist theories. But we all know why a Republican governor and Republican judges will declare that “it is only fair” that Blacks, Latinas and Latinos, those with disabilities, the non-neurotypical, and the victims of systemic poverty remain excluded from a school legendary for sending kids to “top” universities.
“Educator Vijay Tripathi helps prepare eighth-graders for the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology admissions test. The families of Meaghan Allard, Tejal Patel…