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Is America’s Top Public High School Racist?

THOMAS JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY--Parke Hultman, a freshman at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Va., and other students in a biology class compile data gathered at Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge on the ecology of vernal pools -- small, temporary wetlands filled with rain water or snowmelt. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, or TJ, a Magnet school in Alexandria, Virginia is America’s top-ranked public high school. Fairfax County Public Schools’ recent changes to TJ’s admissions process specifically aim to reduce the number of Asian-American children—and only Asian-American children—who can attend TJ. The school district’s race-based admissions scheme garnered nationwide interest and strong opposition from the Coalition for TJ, a group of over 5,000 parents, students, alumni, staff, and community members who advocate for school diversity and excellence through race-blind, merit-based admissions. Represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation in federal court, the Coalition is challenging FCPS’ race-based admissions scheme as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

To discuss this further, Lars spoke with Erin Wilcox, one of the attorney’s from the Pacific Legal Foundation that’s handling the case.

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