Latest TJ High School Scandal Draws National Outrage

Winsome Sears Calls for Investigation: “We Cannot Punish Success”

Fairfax County’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) is in the news again — this time for withholding awards from students, all in the name of “equity.” Investigative journalist Asra Nomani called local and national attention to this latest scandal, first uncovered by TJ mom Shawna Yashar.

“For years, two administrators at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ) have been withholding notifications of National Merit awards from the school’s families, most of them Asian, thus denying students the right to use those awards to boost their college-admission prospects and earn scholarships,” Nomani wrote in City Journal, a publication of the Manhattan Institute.

To Nomani and others in the TJ community, the awards scandal is just another front in the “war on merit” being waged by county school leaders. “This episode has emerged amid the school district’s new strategy of ‘equal outcomes for every student, without exception.’ School administrators, for instance, have implemented an ‘equitable grading’ policy that eliminates zeros, gives students a grade of 50 percent just for showing up, and assigns a cryptic code of ‘NTI’ for assignments not turned in,” Nomani wrote. “It’s a race to the bottom.”

On Friday morning, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears called for an investigation. “Our children’s education is not a zero-sum game,” Sears tweeted. “We cannot punish success in order to have ‘equal outcomes at all costs.'”

As reported by FOX 5 DC‘s Sierra Fox, families rallied outside TJ Friday afternoon, calling on school district leaders to fire those directly involved — namely Principal Ann Bonitatibus and Director of Student Services Brandon Kosatka. “They harmed children,” said TJ dad Harry Jackson.


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