Maggie Walker High School Ranking, Virginia’s Schools Seek Diversity: High School in Virginia consistently ranks at the top of national rankings. Families begin preparing their children for school as early as kindergarten.
The school’s student body has been dominated by white students for decades, while black and Hispanic students have been a tiny fraction of the student body.
Admissions policies at TJ and 18 other gifted high schools in Virginia are about to undergo a significant overhaul.
Maggie Walker High School Ranking, Virginia’s Schools Seek Diversity
Protest For Black Lives Matter
As a result of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the Black Lives Matter protests, officials in many states are now working to change the lack of diversity in gifted education.
For instance, advocates for diversity want to change the admissions system at Stuyvesant Magnet High School in New York City.
Despite this, not everyone is on board with it. Hence it fear that the changes will lower admissions standards and the quality of the magnet schools.
Appointment Of Governor For Futher Investigation
Governor Ralph Northam appointed Atif Qarni to lead a task force to examining ways for increasing diversity at the Governor’s Schools in Virginia. He anticipates that the task force’s recommendations for changes to the schools’ admissions policies will be ready by Thursday.
It’s a simple problem to solve. There is a lacking of political will that has created a dilemma.
TJ and the Maggie Walker Governor’s School are the two largest governor’s schools. Among TJ’s approximately 1 300 undergraduates, only 31 are Black and 47 Latino — less than 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Even though the Richmond area has a much larger African-American population than Maggie Walker, Black students make up about 7 percent of student body.
It is consider three different proposals. As an alternative to selecting the top 400 applicants for a freshman class. Therefore all applicants who score a certain amount would enters into a lottery.
Students from each of the middle schools that feed into the governor’s school would be guaranteed a certain number of spots.
So this would ensure geographic and, most likely, ethnic diversity at the governor’s school.
Similar plans in other countries have been shown to promote diversity.
Parental defenders of the current admissions system worry that any changes will result in the schools becoming “dumber.”
Coalition for TJ member Asra Nomani said that Qarni’s recommendations were racially motivated. In other words, they don’t say it, but they’re making it about race anyway.
If admissions standards are loosened, TJ’s grueling math curriculum and other programs would be diluted. Therefore she explained, “you can’t lower admissions standards without lowering curriculum standards.”
A majority of TJ’s student body is Asian American, including many from immigrant families.
To get into TJ, many families take extraordinary steps at a young age. According to Principal Ann Bonitatibus, some elementary and middle schools in other countries tout their ability to prepare students for magnet schools.
As a rising senior at TJ, Sean Nguyen, 16, is a member of the student government association and believes that the school is in dire need of more diversity. It’s a bubble in both the economic and cultural senses.
He and other students, he said, disagree with the task force’s recommendations.
Black and Hispanic students includes in gift programs from the beginning of their education. Therefore rather than changing the school’s standards.
Despite her agreement that pipeline problems are severe. Maggie Walker alumna Rasheeda Creighton insists that changes must immediately. Therefore black and minority students have more opportunities thanks to her efforts.
Other alumni “are activate and motivate to create change,” she said. Hence in her words, “the mood of the country right now recognizes the need for change and social justice.”
In an interview with the Fairfax County NAACP, task force member and Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand says.
He is expecting the school board to take up changes to TJ’s admission in the coming months and “seek solutions, not 20 years of status quo,”
Entrance Exam Is Important
There’s too much emphasis on an entrance exam, he says. A cottage industry spring up around it.
As Brabrand said, “if you have access to test preparation materials, you have a huge advantage.”
The current social climate makes another member of the task force, Democratic state senator Scott Surovell. Hence optimistic legislature will take up the issue, even though he knows it will be difficult to change things.
2018’s attempt to fix the admissions problem at Thomas Jefferson University failed to get out of committee.