FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Fairfax County NAACP announced their support for proposed admissions changes to Thomas Jefferson High School on Oct. 2.
The organization said they support the reform for the science and math magnet school. In a press release, the Fairfax NAACP said that they believe the lottery system will help improve diversity within the school.
The proposed changes would allow any student with a 3.5 GPA and algebra background to enter the lottery, as well as eliminating a mandatory entrance exam required for admittance.
The Fairfax County NAACP says that by eliminating the test, it evens the admissions playing field for students of lesser financial means who can’t afford tutoring, or the test itself.
“There are children who took a lot of prep work and started in fourth or fifth grade, and of course, they’re going to do better on the test,” said Sujatha Hampton, Education Chair of the Fairfax County NAACP. “For a child who takes it for the first time on test day versus the child who has been prepping for the past four years, they’re not going to be in the same place.”
While many against the changes say it will dilute the talent at the school, the NAACP says it will allow more children with a true passion for the STEM curriculum to be admitted.