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Thomas Jefferson's late National Merit notice is not a catastrophe

As printed in the Washington Post Opinion Section on Sunday, January 8th, 2023.


Regarding the Jan. 5 Metro article “Va. AG will start probe of top school”:

The recent witch hunt by paid operatives and allies calling for the firing of administrators at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is part of a long line of attacks by the same parents who have led challenges against admissions reform that was mandated by then-Gov. Ralph Northam (D).


Sadly, The Post continues to provide a platform for these far-right activists to foment outrage for political purposes regardless of the significance of their complaints. This was a brief delay of notification of “commended” status for top-ranked students. Why does it carry such weight with the media, when it carries such little weight with colleges or scholarship opportunities? There is no evidence that the late notifications had catastrophic effects on students. These operatives are taking advantage of a minor slipup by administrators in a long-standing feud. One complainant has, for years, called for the termination of TJ administrators. She is fighting the Fairfax County Public Schools system in court. The drastic call for the termination of administrators at TJ is absurd. The late information can and apparently has been relayed to the registrar at each school of higher learning to whom each student has applied. A minor error has been rectified and apologies made, yet the histrionics continue.


Holly Hazard, Falls Church

The writer is co-founder and chair of 4 Public Education, a nonprofit advocating for excellence in public education in Virginia.

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