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The Importance of “TJ” as a Catalyst for Growth in Northern Virginia

November 30, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Established in 1985 as a Virginia Governor’s School for gifted students in STEM, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is a crown jewel in America’s educational system, benefiting Fairfax County, the state of Virginia and the United States of America. In promoting Fairfax County to businesses, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority refers to TJ as a “renowned” school that is a draw for businesses and their workforce. Many TJ graduates attend Virginia universities and remain in the area as professionals.

In recent months, the issues of admissions to TJ has embroiled the community in a debate about how students should be evaluated to enter America’s No. 1 high school. The conversation is a larger national debate about the future of education in specialized schools in America.

In October 2020, the Fairfax County School Board voted to eliminate the objective merit-based admissions tests to TJ, and its members are expected to vote as early as Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, on a plan by Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand to replace the tests with a lottery or a subjective hybrid admissions process.

Lost in the debate are some critical questions we will discuss in a thought provoking panel discussion with well-respected leaders in business, politics and education. All of the participants are actively engaged in developing public-private collaboratives to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities in STEM and support TJ as a premiere Governor’s School for gifted students in STEM.

The future of not only the school and its students hangs in the balance but also the future of northern Virginia and the Commonwealth of Virginia.



November 30, 2020
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Zoom (TJ Catalyst Forum)
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