Fairfax County Fairness?

A student sits in a math class at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Virginia’s attorney general is investigating whether three Fairfax County schools violated the state’s Human Rights Act by failing to notify students who received letters of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation—an incident that could resonate with students and parents across the country.

“It looks like it could be a case study in equity politics run amok, and in that sense is a cautionary tale,” said Nat Malkus, an education policy scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Attorney General Jason Miyares’ investigation will focus on the three schools’ National Merit notifications while also scrutinizing the admissions policy of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ), which is ranked the best in the country and is already at the center of national controversy over alleged race-based admissions.

“If it was wrong 100 years ago to cap or limit the educational opportunities of Jewish American students, it is equally wrong to do that to our Asian American students,” Miyares told The Dispatch. At the national level, “it seems like the only state-sanctioned form of bigotry is anti-Asian bigotry, particularly in higher ed,” he said, adding that “the purpose of this investigation is to see if what we’re seeing nationally is actually happening here in Virginia at our high school levels and at Thomas Jefferson.”

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