Complaint: “Overwhelming public evidence exists that the new [Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology] admissions process was adopted with the purpose of disadvantaging Asian-American students and reducing AsianAmerican enrollment
We have been tracking the litigation against Harvard University alleging that affirmative action admissions policies are intended to and do discriminate primarily against Asian-American applicants, but also whites. A request has been filed for the Supreme Court to take the case after both the district and appeals courts ruled that while Harvard did discriminate, such discrimination was done lawfully.
There are a growing number of such discrimination claims around the country, as Critical Race activists demand elimination of standardized test and other academic scores even at the high school level in order to achieve “equity” of racial and ethnic groups.
Helen Raleigh writes in Newsweek about a conflict in Virginia, Asian Americans Emerging as a Strong Voice Against Critical Race Theory:
Asian parents are also alarmed about attempts to change admissions standards for colleges and top high schools at the expense of Asian American children. CRT activists have been pushing for lowering admission standards—or the complete removal of difficult entrance exams—to top high schools because “too many Asians” are in good schools, and Asians are so “over-represented” that these schools are not “diverse.” These were the arguments New York City mayor Bill de Blasio used to eliminate the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. He wanted to replace it with a new admissions process based on race, so the student bodies of New York City’s elite public high schools would mirror the city’s overall population composition and not be dominated by Asian kids. CACAGNY, along with Asian American families and other allies, fiercely protested the mayor’s proposal. The mayor recanted after his failed presidential bid.
However, CRT activists found success in other places. Last year, the Fairfax County public school board in Virginia canceled the entrance exam for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Last month, the San Francisco Unified School District voted to eliminate the merit-based admission process to Lowell High School, one of the city’s top high schools. The school board claimed such an admission process “perpetuates the culture of white supremacy and racial abuse towards Black and Latinx students,” even though students of color make up 75 percent of Lowell’s student body and more than half of them are Asian. Asian parents worry that eliminating merit-based admission will result in fewer admissions for qualified Asian students.
Those practices at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJ”) has now resulted in a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation. AP reports:
Located in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, the school is frequently ranked as the best in the country, and families plan for years to try to help their children gain admission.
The student body is 70% Asian American, with minuscule numbers of Black and Hispanic students.
The Fairfax County school board voted last year to revise the admissions process and eliminate a standardized test that had been a key part of the evaluation process. It also set aside a specific number of slots for students at each of the middle schools in the county.
Board members have said they hope the new process increases Black and Hispanic representation in the student body.
The lawsuit, though, alleges that the set-asides will end up hurting Asian American families that are clustered in a handful of middle schools that currently send large numbers of students to “TJ,” as the school is known.
Erin Wilcox, a lawyer with the Pacific Legal Foundation, said at a press conference Wednesday that the policies themselves are discriminatory, but the intent is made even more clear by statements from board members who said they want the changes to result in a student body with a racial makeup that matches the county’s demographics.
“The discriminatory intent they’ve shown is intertwined and an inseparable part of the policies they put in place,” Wilcox said.
1. Plaintiff Coalition for TJ (Coalition) brings this civil rights lawsuit for declaratory
and injunctive relief to vindicate the rights of Asian-American public school children in and around
Fairfax County, Virginia, to compete on an equal footing for admission to the nationally-ranked
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) without regard to their race.
2. TJ is an Academic-Year Governor’s School administered by Fairfax County Public
Schools (FCPS). This action concerns FCPS’ recently-implemented overhaul of the TJ admissions
process, which eliminated the long-standing race-neutral standardized admissions test. The
Coalition alleges that these changes were specifically intended to reduce the percentage of AsianAmerican students who enroll in TJ, with the ultimate goal of racially balancing the school
according to the racial demographics of Fairfax County.
* * *
5. Overwhelming public evidence exists that the new TJ admissions process was
adopted with the purpose of disadvantaging Asian-American students and reducing AsianAmerican enrollment at TJ. As such, these changes violate the Equal Protection Clause.
In our virtual events on how CRT is damaging higher education and K-12, one of the things we discussed was the role of litigation. It’s my view that while local activism is essential, so too is holding all levels of education to the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and federal, state, and local non-discrimination laws.
The woke shouldn’t get a pass, and need to be held accountable in court. It’s the only way this insanity will stop.DONATE
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