On December 24th, Hot Air posted an article about Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology located in Fairfax County, Virginia.
The article reports:
Located in Fairfax County, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has long been ranked as one of the premiere high schools in the nation. It’s a “magnet” charter school that focuses on the sciences and STEM curricula. But for several years now you wouldn’t have guessed that based on the school’s record of students receiving National Merit awards. That’s because none of the students reportedly received those honors. Except that’s not true at all. The top students in the school did indeed receive National Merit awards, but two administrators at TJ have been withholding notifications of the awards from students. They reportedly did this as part of their “equitable grading policy.” And the parents of students who were not credited with those achievements are seeing red.
Refusing to reward accomplishment does not promote equity–it simply removes the incentive for students to try to achieve. If achievement is recognized, it provides motivation for struggling students to try harder.
The article concludes:
The student mentioned in the excerpt above took the PSAT and achieved a score that placed him in the top three percent of students in the nation, along with winning a National Merit award. But he couldn’t list that on his college applications because he was never informed that he received it. This year, after being caught, the school did eventually distribute the awards, but they waited until after the early college admission deadline had passed.
The principal of the school and the director of student services reportedly conspired to withhold the awards for years, impacting as many as 1,200 students. Under their “equitable grading policy” described above, almost no student will ever fail and they get a 50% grade just for showing up. This is being described as a “race to the bottom,” which definitely sounds accurate.
As we’ve seen with other charter schools in California, efforts have been underway to eliminate merit-based achievements. In the opinion of the progressives pushing such “reforms,” too many of the “wrong” types of students were getting the awards, most commonly students from Asian families. To correct what they see as an “unfair” system, they keep lowering the standards until everyone reaches equality. Tragically, it’s an equality of poor performance. This barely disguised racism should not be tolerated and it’s a mystery why Thomas Jefferson High School continues to employ the administrators who were responsible for this plot.
This is socialism in education–no one is allowed to be rewarded for their efforts and eventually the achievers stop achieving.