A federal judge ruled two weeks ago that the new admissions protocols adopted by Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in late 2020 discriminate against Asian American applicants and must be changed.
Officials for Fairfax County Public Schools are requesting a stay to allow the admissions process to proceed unchanged for the Class of 2026. If they fail to receive this grant, it is unclear how this year’s applicant pool of about 2,500 students will be assessed.
The case was filed last March by the Coalition for TJ, a group of TJ parents, students, and alumni that formed to oppose the admissions process changes, including the elimination of a standardized testing requirement and guaranteed eligibility to top students at previously underrepresented middle schools.
Fairfax County Public Schools is expected to file an appeal of this decision. However, if FCPS loses the appeal, they will have to either revert to the old admissions system (standardized test + letters of recommendation + SPS/Essay) or create a new one altogether.
Even under the old admissions process (see below), the Student Portrait Sheet (formerly known as the Student Information Sheet) and Problem-Solving Essay were essential components of the process, and were used in the final round. The standardized test (multiple choice math, science, and reading questions) and teacher recommendations were the main elements present in the old process.
Regardless of the final court ruling, the courses at TJTestPrep will be updated to match the chosen admissions format. Students who have already enrolled with us will not be required to re-enroll to get access to these changes. We will continue to keep a close eye on the situation.