In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion column titled “A PTA Purge of Asians,” William McGurn wrote that the PTA of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, located in Arlington, Va., had created ways designed to lessen the number of Asian American students. Their goal, he wrote, is to create more “diversity” at a high school that was selected as the number one public high school in the country by US News and World Report.
McGurn also wrote, “In December the County School Board changed its admission process, replacing a rigorous race-blind entrance exam with a ‘holistic’ (read subjective) formula that includes grades but also puts caps on the number of students each middle school can send to TJ—a de facto limit on middle schools with high numbers of Asian American students.”
As a result, he continued, “the percentage of Asian American students to TJ dropped to 54 percentage this year from 73 percentage last year. Whites, blacks [note the b in the noun Blacks is lower case] and Latinos all saw the numbers go up.”
Two days later, a Wall Street Journal editorial, “Parents Vs. the New Racism,” included the following: “Americans are awakening to the reality that … today’s Progressives want to discriminate by race. If black and Latino children are not scoring high enough on competitive exams to get into the best public high schools, the Progressives’ answer isn’t to lift achievement or improve K-8 schools. Their answer is to suppress merit — and deny seats to Asian Americans in particular. The main result is more bitterness resentment and racial division.”
Most people reading that commentary will believe that the admission changes cited by McGurn and the editorial writer were made to increase the number of Black students at TJ. Nothing is further from the truth. Those changes were made to increase the white enrollment at TJ, which for most of its long history was overwhelmingly white. When I lectured there in the early 1990s, there were very few Black students among those in attendance. That’s why the admission changes for TJ, had little, if anything to do with increasing Black enrollment. They were made to increase white enrollment by any means necessary.
McGurn and the editorial writer from the Wall Street Journal both misinformed readers in their coverage of the controversy. As for the huge decline in white enrollment at TJ, it’s a classic situation of the chickens coming home to roost.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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