In data made available in response to a FOIA request from Parents Defending Education, school district enrollment figures reveal that eight freshmen students, admitted through the new race-based admissions process, dropped out of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science in Technology over just five months between September 2021 and January 2022, decreasing 1.5% to 533 students from 541 students, compared to a negligible 0.2% decrease for the entire school year before of just one student dropping out.
In the 2020-2021 school year, the number of freshmen students at the school decreased by one student to 452 students from 453 students.
What’s more, in a school in which most students had traditionally mastered algebra before walking onto campus, the school just announced remedial “after school algebra review sessions” for freshmen students, blaming Covid-19 “pandemic learning loss,” according to a Feb. 11, 2022, email from a school official to parents, made available to Parents Defending Education.
Parents, however, said the number of students returning to their base school from the academically advanced school and the remedial algebra lessons reveal the challenges that students are having after the school board removed the merit-based admissions process to the school and replaced it with race-based admissions, as part of the school district’s “equity” strategy.
Fairfax County Public Schools’ officials have said their new admissions process is “race neutral,” while acknowledging they had race-based goals for the new admissions plan.