Posted on June 26, 2021

Eliminating ‘Racist’ Entrance Exam Led to More White Students, Fewer Asians at Top High School

Alex Nester, Washington Free Beacon, June 24, 2021

The number of white students admitted to the freshman class of the nation’s top high school skyrocketed—and the number of Asian students plummeted—after district officials nixed the school’s entrance exam in an attempt to boost black and Hispanic enrollment.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia, admitted nearly 16 percent fewer Asian students and 43 percent more white students after eliminating its merit-based entrance exam, according to demographic data released Wednesday for the class of 2025. While Asian students accounted for 73 percent of the class of 2024, only 54 percent of next year’s freshmen are Asian.

“Fairfax County Public Schools are hellbent on making Thomas Jefferson white again,” Asra Nomani, the vice president of the group Parents Defending Education and the parent of a 2021 alum, told the Washington Free Beacon.

Prestigious high schools across the country have eliminated entrance exams in recent months as part of a nationwide call for diversity and inclusion. {snip}

Fairfax County Public Schools in October eliminated the entrance exam and application fee for Thomas Jefferson as part of a district-wide effort to promote diversity. Two months later, the district adopted a different entrance system, placing a cap on the number of students each middle school can send to Thomas Jefferson.

A parent group called “Coalition for TJ” sued Fairfax County Public Schools in March, saying the updated process unconstitutionally targeted Asian-American students. Three Fairfaix middle schools known for fielding students to Thomas Jefferson have predominantly Asian-American populations.


Under the new system, the school admitted 39 black students—a marked increase from the class of 2024, which has less than 10 black students. The updated admissions process increased the number of Hispanic students within the freshman class by 287 percent.