TJ test is abolished

Advaiit Iyer and Parth Dhingra

The Thomas Jefferson High School (TJHS) admissions process underwent significant changes at a school board meeting October 8 to enhance equity.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand’s  proposed plan includes no fee, no test, and you must be enrolled in algebra 1 with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5. Also, students would have to provide a revised student information sheet which would also feature a questionnaire and an essay. 

Superintendent Brabrand’s proposed plan also includes a suggested timeline. Applications would accepted around December/January, and a merit lottery would be implemented around February/March.

Around 500 people will get selected with the top 100 selected based on their application and will not go through the lottery process.

This decision was based on the diversity statistics from the past. In 2019,  there were 70 percent Asian, 21 percent white, 5 percent Hispanic, 2 percent black kids in T.J. There were also very few kids from low-income families. 

On Sept. 16, Brabrand presented two proposals for the new admissions in a town hall meeting. The current admissions included a Science, Math, and Reading test for the first round, and a SIS sheet and essay for the second round. The first proposal removes the Science, Math, and Reading test and removes the $100 admissions fee, and increases the GPA requirement to 3.5. In this proposal, the admissions will be replaced with a merit lottery.

Lots of people protested that the merit lottery will take the superiority of TJ away. Because of this, the FCPS School Board began considering a new proposal. This second proposal is similar to the first proposal, except this proposal will use a combination of merit lottery and the SIS and essay to determine who will get admission into the school. The top 100 students in the SIS sheet and essay will get a seat. The rest of the kids will be placed in a lottery. This will allow top-scoring kids to get guaranteed admission. 

The next update which will include more details about the admissions for this coming year is expected to be released Nov. 17 on the TJ admissions website.