Race Discrimination

Lawsuit Challenging Racial Balancing and anti-Asian Discrimination at Prominent Selective Public High School Will Proceed

A federal court denied the Fairfax County School Board's motion to dismiss the case.

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The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Fairfax, Virginia.

 

Earlier today, federal district judge Claude Hilton denied the Fairfax County School Board's motion to dismiss a race discrimination lawsuit against the new admissions policy at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (colloquially known as "TJ"), an elite selective public high school:

A federal judge ruled Friday that a parents' group can move forward with a lawsuit alleging that new admissions policies at an elite public high school in northern Virginia discriminate against Asian Americans.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was rated the best public high school in the country last month by U.S. News and World Report. Asian Americans constitute more than 70 percent of the student body, and for decades Black and Hispanic students have been woefully underrepresented there.

The Fairfax County School Board, seeking to increase diversity at the school, drastically overhauled the admissions process at the school, scrapping a standardized test that had been the linchpin of the process. The new system now allocates slots at the highly competitive school in a system that distributes the vast majority of slots to the top 1.5 percent of students at each of the county's middle schools….

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton expressed skepticism about the school system's assertions that its new admissions policy is race neutral.

"Everybody knows the policy is not race neutral, and that it's designed to affect the racial composition of the school," he said. "You can say all sorts of beautiful things while you're doing others."

While Hilton allowed the lawsuit to move forward to the next stage, he denied a request for an injunction that would have barred the school system from using the new policy for the incoming class of freshmen. He said it would be too disruptive to order a change at such a late date — Raphael said the school system is nearly completed with its review of applications for the upcoming fall semester, and that students will find out in June whether they have been admitted under the new process.

Judge Hilton is absolutely right to emphasize that "[e]verybody knows the policy is not race neutral, and that it's designed to affect the racial composition of the school." School board officials have themselves publicly stated that their goal is to create a student body where  the distribution of racial and ethnic groups is "proportional to the population numbers" of Fairfax County.

While the new policy is neutral on its face, the plaintiffs (a group of predominantly Asian-American parents of students applying to the school) cite extensive evidence indicating that the change in policy was motivated by an effort to achieve racial balancing  generally  and a specific intent to reduce the proportion of Asian-American students.  Asian-Americans make up about 19% of the County's population, but 70% of the TJ student body. By capping the number of students who are admitted from any given middle school, the School Board's new policy will greatly reduce the percentage of admittees from middle schools with large numbers of Asian-American students, while increasing that from schools with relatively few.

It is also worth noting that, while the school board cites the relative paucity of African-American and Hispanic students, the vast majority of the beneficiaries of the new policy are likely to be white applicants. The issue is not just that the new policy will have a disproportionate negative impact on Asian-American students, but that achieving that result is a big part of the motivation behind the shift.

The lawsuit against TJ will now continue. It is likely there will be a trial, as there are enough disputed facts that the issue probably cannot be settled without one.

This case could potentially set an important precedent, as similar policies seeking to reduce the number of Asian-American students have been adopted at a number of other selective public schools and universities. I wrote about the the legal, moral, and policy issues at stake in greater detail here and here. Among other things, I pointed out that today's efforts to restrict the percentage of Asians at elite education institutions have many parallels with earlier attempts to restrict the percentage of Jews, during the early to mid-twentieth centuries:

[W]hile comparisons to Jim Crow are overstated, there is a closer historical parallel to early-twentieth century policies intended to limit the number of Jewish students at elite educational institutions. As in the case of Asian-Americans today, education administrators back then argued that having too many Jews would undermine desirable diversity, and damage the school's "culture." Much like Asian students today, Jewish students in that era were stereotyped as overly focused on grades and test scores, and not interested enough in sports and social activities.

And, as with the TJ policy of using middle school caps and "holistic" policies to keep down the number of Asian students, administrators at Ivy League universities used geographic preferences and "character" evaluations, as a seemingly neutral proxy for keeping down the number of Jews….

Today, almost everyone regards these anti-Jewish policies as a shameful episode in the history of American education. But today's very similar efforts to reduce the number of Asian-American students suggests we haven't learned the lessons of history as well as we should have.

NOTE: My wife, Alison Somin, works for the Pacific Legal Foundation, the public interest law firm representing the plaintiffs in the TJ case. She is also part of the litigation team working on the case. As links in my previous post about this case demonstrate, I have written about these sorts of issues since long before Alison accepted a position at PLF last year, and my views are much the same as they were before she did so.

UPDATE: For those keeping track, I have also long argued for strong judicial scrutiny of cases where  the right-wing government policies engages in pretextual discrimination against racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, as in the case of Donald Trump's travel ban targeting residents of Muslim-majority nations. The TJ case actually reminds me of the travel ban case, inasmuch as, in both cases, government officials have been remarkably open in stating their discriminatory motivations. I have also forcefully criticized conservative efforts to severely restrict immigration from China.

NEXT: Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

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  1. as in the case of Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting residents of Muslim-majority nations.

    As in the continuing Obama’s policy of targeting countries who happened to by Muslim-majority nations that lacked the ability to properly screen residents.

      1. All the readers here likely could get into TJ.

        In fact, I may leave this blog. It’s just a bunch of nerds here.

        1. I sent a substantial contribution to the PLF assigning it to Alison Somin. This is an important case.

    1. Ilya must support allowing thousands of law profs from India. They would love to make $25000 before being taken seriously.

      That being said, the alumni of the high school that taught me my anti-lawyer history may wish to donate to the efforts of his wife.

  2. “the vast majority of the beneficiaries of the new policy are likely to be white applicants”

    Oh, horror, horror, horror! Heart nor tongue
    Can nor conceive nor name thee!

    1. Seriously, the question is whether the asians are getting illegally shafted, not who’s benefiting from the shafting.

      1. Seriously, the question is whether the asians are getting illegally shafted, not who’s benefiting from the shafting.”

        I’m guessing Ilya understands and agrees with you and that he was just noting that the result of the policy would not be what was intended because it would wind up benefitting whites instead of blacks.

        1. “and that he was just noting that the result of the policy would not be what was intended because it would wind up benefitting whites instead of blacks.”

          Did you actually read the OP? The point is, the policy wasn’t intended to benefit blacks, or whites.

          It was intended to harm Asians.

        2. …he was just noting that the result of the policy would not be what was intended because it would wind up benefitting whites instead of blacks.

          I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that more white students isn’t exactly what was intended.

    2. This is Northern Virginia — I think what you will find is that the White and Asian students attend the same middle schools, while the Black students attend other ones. It’s segregation by income and not by race, but the schools are largely segregated and the Asian students will still beat the White students….

      1. “I think what you will find”

        Translation: I’m making up bullshit to fit my narrative.

        1. Do you have some evidence that he’s making this up? Because in many other urban vs suburban areas, that is the case.

          1. He’s not making it up: https://greaterdc.urban.org/publication/racial-inequities-fairfax-county-2011-15 . Page 7 of their PDF has a nice visualization of racism concentration by district within the county.

            1. Strange, nowhere does it show the break out of race by highschool. Not for any of the 18 high schools in the county. 25 High Schools, and no demographic data.

              1. You do know that “bussing” isn’t a thing anymore, and you can get a reasonable idea of the demographics of a school by looking at the demographics of the community it’s in? (Setting aside magnet schools, of course.)

                OTOH, the link doesn’t address the question of whether or not whites and Asians are co-located.

          2. Having grown up in and gone through that school system, and been in the poorest area Michael P cites. The whole county & all the school districts are majority white.

  3. “Asian-Americans make up about 19% of the County’s population, but 70% of the TJ student body. ”

    This is a public school, it’s job is not to reward abstract ideas about meritocracy, it is to serve all the taxpayers in the county. If a government program overwhelmingly focuses benefits on a group making up only 1/5 of the population that’s going to lead to serious division as a matter of human nature.

    This is why I think Texas’ top-10 plan was such a great idea. The UT system is paid for and should offer benefits to rural kids as much as suburban ones, brown kids as much as white ones, etc.,

    1. Suppose the plaintiffs could prove racist intent – should the plaintiffs win?

      1. I think ‘we want less Asians here’ would be a racist and properly prohibited intent whereas ‘we want more inclusion of under-represented groups in the county’ would not.

        But I also think that any criteria that results in a group of 1/5 of the population covered getting 70% of any government benefit is suspect off the bat, so there’s that.

        1. Interesting perspective.

        2. “But I also think that any criteria that results in a group of 1/5 of the population covered getting 70% of any government benefit is suspect off the bat”

          If they only have the capacity to provide the benefit to 28% of the population, then just mathematically, a group of 20%(1/5th) of the population will be getting 70% of the benefit.

          1. That’s an equivocation on ‘group’

            1. It’s not an equivocation, it’s an point on the fact that your comment puts no qualifiers or limits on the nature or membership of the group in question.

        3. “1/5 of the population covered getting 70% of any government benefit”

          How about athletics?

    2. Great. Now do public school atheletics

      1. Well, I happen to think, for example, that public middle and high schools shouldn’t ‘cut’ people and should have to play everyone in sports, so there’s that. The tax money to create sports programs is based on the idea that students benefit from it, only having a small percent benefit isn’t equitable.

        1. only having a small percent benefit isn’t equitable.

          Equitable is only attainable by forcing all to the same bottom.
          The pursuit of excellence dies in the exercise of equity.

          1. That’s facile.

            1. I’m waiting for equity in medical school

              1. Hint: It’s there, and has been there for a long time. Only relatively recently has it been displayed openly on medical school websites–it’s totally mainstream.

                1. Yes, and I’ve seen some of the products of this equity.
                  Too many of them.

                  That’s why if the MD is under age 45, I will only trust a White male.

                  1. You will not find a white male. If you announce, Dr. Patel, dinner is ready, expect to need a banquet hall.

              2. I’m late to this discussion, for which apologies, but I was a little puzzled about your term “equity” in medical school. Medical schools have long considered a variety of factors in admissions, some of which are proxies for “race,” and there have been no notable adverse consequences. At risk of painting with a very broad brush, even the worst applicant admitted to the lowest ranked medical school in the country is still a relatively high achiever, and is more than capable of performing at an acceptable level: the old joke is “what do you call the person who graduates last in their medical school class?” Answer: “Doctor.” Ivan Illich based his proposal for training local versions of ‘barefoot doctors’ in poor countries on the fact that — to make another medical school joke — medicine is not brain surgery.

                The difference with the TJ case might be that TJ relies so heavily on standardized test scores for admission, and if a population is especially adept at standardized tests, that population will get admitted at a higher rate than others.

                1. “Medical schools have long considered a variety of factors in admissions, some of which are proxies for “race,” and there have been no notable adverse consequences.”

                  Bullbleep.

                  Because of the litigation, we know that Bernard Chavis got Allan Baake’s seat in med school. And as to “no notable adverse consequences”, please note that the State of California has *revoked* Chavis medical license (you can look it up).

                  Here’s why: https://www.jeffjacoby.com/10931/affirmative-action-can-be-fatal

                  1. Thanks, but anecdotes are not data. We can also find examples of incompetent physicians among white, male, academically high achieving docs. I am unaware of any significant difference between two populations of former medical students that would suggest that a mix of factors in admissions decisions leads to poorer outcomes. On the contrary, the usual complaint is that exams such as the MCAT, and undergraduate GPA, predict performance in pre-cinical courses in medical school, but are not associated with performance as clinicians.

                2. “even the worst applicant admitted to the lowest ranked medical school in the country is still a relatively high achiever, and is more than capable of performing at an acceptable level”

                  Depending on who you ask, medical errors kill 50k to 250k people a year. Is your position that the best doctors and the worst doctors make equal numbers of mistakes?

                  I know my doctor would disagree; he is quite particular with referrals. I know several nurses, and they are definitely particular about which doctors to go to, and even more particular about which ones to avoid, based on their personal experience with the lesser lights.

                  Law school has minimum standards, too, right? If you needed a lawyer, are you indifferent to whether you get Clarence Darrow in his prime or last year’s bottom graduate of the South Bupkis School of Law?

                  1. “Depending on who you ask, medical errors kill 50k to 250k people a year.”

                    The studies that find this also make it clear that the issue is not some simplistic poor doctoring. For example

                    “The researchers caution that most of medical errors aren’t due to inherently bad doctors, and that reporting these errors shouldn’t be addressed by punishment or legal action. Rather, they say, most errors represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns that lack accountability.”

                    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us

                    1. The trainers of the Ivy indoctrinated chart reviewers were JD. You have to read the fine print of the Methods Section. It is maddening and misleading. Dismissed.

                3. Mr. Taylor,
                  I have more than a quarter century’s experience in the operation of MD (LCME accredited) medical schools and my experience does not support your claims.

                  “even the worst applicant admitted to the lowest ranked medical school in the country is still a relatively high achiever”

                  This is TRUE ON PAPER. However, medical school really is VERY HARD. Even students who did very well in undergrad studies can fail to make the leap to learning how to not only learn all the facts, but put them together into viable clinical reasoning. Pretending that a person with a 512 on the MCAT has the same likelihood to pass medical school, as well as USMLE Steps 1, 2(CK), [the COVID-discontinued Step 2(CS)] and Step 3 and become a great doctor as someone who has a MCAT of lower than 503 is contrary to substantial experience.

                  “and is more than capable of performing at an acceptable level

                  NOT IN MY EXPERIENCE, else US medical schools would not have an average of losing about 5% of each class and would not need to have significant academic competencies that are assessed and dismissal procedures for students who do not attain them.

                  the old joke is “what do you call the person who graduates last in their medical school class?” Answer: “Doctor.”

                  YES, BUT IT’S A *JOKE*. Check out Atul Gawande’s book, “Better” that outlines the very real existence of disparate quality *outcomes* arising from the disparate quality of the physician. (Much of the gist of the book can be found online for free in Gawande’s article for the New Yorker “The Health Care Bell Curve”.) The difference matters.

                  “The difference with the TJ case might be that TJ relies so heavily on standardized test scores for admission, and if a population is especially adept at standardized tests, that population will get admitted at a higher rate than others.”

                  THE PROBLEM IS that you fail to realize that the intellectual capacity to learn massive amounts of material (and keep learning it as knowledge changes) and effectively gather information and apply the knowledge in fact correlates with achievement on those standardized tests. Certain students really *will* be better than others at being a doctor. And if you’d hung out around large medical systems, you’d know that the skills your doctor brings to the table *matter*.

                  1. Thanks for your reply. For the record, I am an MD — a cardiologist — with a PhD in physiology, and I have been a medical school faculty member for nearly 40 years. So I have considerable personal experience with these issues, and have published on medical student performance in innovative curricula such as the ‘New Pathway’ at Harvard Medical School, which led to a distressing decline in the pass rate on licensing exams. …. Yet these were some of the brightest medical students in the country. Medical schools in the U.S. have the lowest rate of drop-out/failure of any professional schools, and the students who do are most often — not always but most often — faced with problems other than cognitive/intellectual/educational. In fact, my complaint for years parallels that of my clinical colleagues: that students are selected on the basis of performance on measures that are not clearly related to performance as a clinician. MCATs predict performance in pre-clinical courses rather than performance as a practicing doc, for example. My old friend Atul Gawande is correct — there are differences in quality — but you draw a different conclusion from that then he does. Anyway, the point was that medical schools have known for years that they can admit a variety of students who will be successful and excellent docs, even if they are not the highest MCAT or GPA applicants. Indeed, one of my deans was quoted a number of years ago in the Washington Post to the effect that he could fill our entering class twice over with applicants who had perfect 4.0 GPAs, but he was more interested in the applicants who had compassion, dedication, curiosity, interesting life experiences, etc, so long as their MCATs and GPAs were good. His approach has worked well for us.

                    1. With respect, you are missing the point.

                      I agree that physician skill isn’t a scalar measure. For example, someone with a lot of empathy but unsteady hands might be a great shrink but a lousy surgeon. Bedside manner might not matter for a pathologist who never meets patients face to face, etc.

                      But physicians do vary in quality – there are poor ones, mediocre ones, and great ones. And I agree that it may not be clear what the best way is to tell which students will become the best or worst ones.

                      But none of that affects the argument that if you select for something other than competence, you risk lowering the average competence of your graduates. If you have done your best job of picking applicants, and then decide to throw out some of the top candidates in favor of lower ranking ones, you will lower the quality of the pool. You could throw out the ones you think are best by flipping coins, or selecting in favor of people born on Thursdays, or whatever, but if your selection process is better than random at picking good people, neglecting the ranking must necessarily lower the average quality.

                    2. But none of that affects the argument that if you select for something other than competence, you risk lowering the average competence of your graduates.

                      Absaroka, you beg the question. DavidTaylor’s question is whether particular alleged measurements of, “competence,” among applicants are validated by subsequent experience. You answer that particular metrics must be preferred because they measure competence. DavidTaylor’s question goes unaddressed.

                    3. “You answer that particular metrics must be preferred because they measure competence. ”

                      I most certainly do not. I’ll try and say this very precisely: I posit that the admissions people have some ranking function they feel is predictive of eventual competence. It inputs some variables (test scores, grades, shoe size, astrological sign, whatever). We assume only that is is a better predictor than a random number generator (if it is no better than a random number generator, then obviously you can save yourself a lot of trouble by picking students by lot).

                      If that function is a better predictor than random chance, and you have used it to pick, say, the top 100 of 1000 applicants who meet the minimum standard. Then you throw out some of the 100 in favor of some from the bottom 900 – perhaps, say, you go ‘Ooops, we have 20 legacy applicants from big donors who didn’t make the cut, so bump 20 of the top 100 and admit the legacies instead’. You have lowered the average competence of the 100 you admit. That’s just math.

                  2. As an aside, are there any studies on what happens to the 5% of the class that flunk out? What do they wind up doing?

                4. The problem with medical school admissions is that the admission rates are so low (5%-10%) that initial cuts must look for single reasons not to take a student. Upper tier school also have expectation of applicants that actual have nothing to do with competence or future success in medicine. (Such as did you spend time in Africa playing musical instruments. – an actual example).

                  In contrast screening for all law schools (accepting 20% to 30%)except for Yale (which only accepts 5%) has first screenings looking fr reason to take students.

                  So it is not unusual for an applicant who graduates summa cum laude and Phi beta Kappa from UC Berkeley not to get admitted to any upper tier school. Maybe that person applies a second year rather than going to a bottom school, but does that experience painful as it was, predict success no. Because people who show ability by doing (rather than testing) typically apply the same skills in their job and come out on top.

        2. Queenie should read Harrison Bergeron sometime.

          It won’t make a difference of course, because those with mental illness don’t see their mistakes.

          1. Read it, not impressed.

            You should read the Gospels sometime. Bit more influential.

            1. These days Harrison Bergeron is starting to be used as an instruction manual, much like 1984.

              No, Virginia isn’t eliminating advanced math courses. But some proposed changes are drawing fire.

              I deliberately linked to a denial, to show how weak the denial was.

              “But would the changes leave students unable to take advanced classes before 11th grade? It’s unclear. [See? That’s not exactly an absolute denial.]

              Lane said that’s not the goal and that kids who are still ready for, say, calculus by sophomore year will be able to take it. [But, how do they become ready to take it, if they’re stuck learning at the same pace as those who won’t be? They’ve adopted this to some extent here in SC, and even though my son is a math wiz in a magnet school, they’re not allowed to teach him anything ahead of the state mandated schedule for everybody.]

              But group members have said one of their goals — addressing inequities in math education — is to deal with the way historical, cultural and societal biases influence which children are viewed as being good at math.

              One of the main ways researchers suggest schools do that? Keep students who are at different skill levels in the same classrooms — a concept sometimes called “heterogeneous learning” — for longer. That’s why the pathways plan doesn’t fork in different directions until grades 11 and 12.

              Position papers by a national association for math educators that were shared by the education department argue “tracking” students — sorting advanced ones into separate classes — results in the over-representation of white and wealthy students.

              “Those that have been privileged by the current system must be willing to give up that privilege for more equitable schooling,” one of the papers reads.”

              Dealing with ‘inequity’ by leveling down. That’s the trend in education these days, and it’s straight out of Harrison Bergeron.

              1. Well, that’s interesting. I assure you, I did NOT enter that link twice, I didn’t even use any html on that last line.

        3. “should have to play everyone in sports,”
          In that case just have intramural leagues.

          1. Don Nico,
            There would be nothing wrong with only having intramural leagues. It’s certainly no more wrong than having “heterogeneous” math classes through 11th grade.
            They could go further and distribute all the good and bad athletes evenly among all the intramural teams to make sure they don’t have “high level” and “low level” teams. Heck, they could even make sure all students have to do a range of sports. No one can specialize in one sport until the 11th grade. Until that time, they would have to cycle through different sports each quarter and even change at each grade level. Depending on the school, we could insist everyone has a quarter semester of swimming, soccer, gynmastics, formation cheerleading, basketball, track, dance, and so on. (I’m sure we could come up with 16 sports to cover in high schools!)

            Surely it’s important for everyone to have a foundation in everything rather than allowing them to have a one-dimensional focus on excelling in one sport.

            And of course we know that letting the good ones focus on basketball (or whatever) doesn’t result in excellence because almost none of these kids go on to play on college teams and certainly don’t make the major leagues. So we can see the present policy of extramural sports is a failure!

            These sorts of changes could help us change the way society decides “which children are viewed as being good at [sports].”

            1. My son when to UC San Diego which essentially only had intramural sports that were well supported. He played seven sport in college. I agree that intramurals are just fine as a program. But even there, one does not find equality of playing time as QA advocated. Moreover, even in intramurals scores are recorded and standing are kept.
              I find obnoxious the idea that administrators should tell students what sports to play, or insist that they “balance” their physical exercise program. I also find the idea that administrators who are not professional sports assessors know how to balance teams. Assignments can be made by chance. Some teams with be stronger than others. That is life. Next year random selection shuffles teams.
              Whether the semi-professional college sports have a value is a separate question, about which I don’t have a well formed opinion.

              1. Don Nico,
                I think no one would take my proposal on leveling sports. 🙂

    3. Asian families are intact and patriarchal. They value education. They make their kids study hard. The other groups will reduce the excellence of Thomas Jefferson, make it more street. They will bring their undesirable features, cultures of violence, and of laziness. If more blacks do attend, they will all be striving and thriving recent immigrants from Africa and from Haiti, not the ghetto people that need the most help. Africans are the new Koreans. Their children will do well. It will be a test to see if the second generation continues to do so well.

    4. “This is a public school, it’s job is not to reward abstract ideas about meritocracy,”

      Except it is, that is what a magnet school is. The idea of these public schools is for those of advanced ability to be in a place where the school has both the curriculum and ability to let them reach their potential rather than be held back because others can’t move as fast as them. That is exactly how it serves the public.

      1. So kind of a talented tenth strategy?

        1. More like a stratified sports league type strategy.

          In baseball, for example, you have A, AA, AAA and major leagues.

          By ensuring the people you’re playing with are at your level of skill, you can all work together and improve better, than if it was just a mix of all skill levels. The coaches can do more advanced strategies at the upper levels, while at the lower levels, basics can be further emphasized.

          If you just mix all the skill levels together, those who are the most skilled aren’t pushed at all. Coaches just teach skills they already know, and they get bored.

          1. Picture a high school classroom and two 16-year old boys in it.

            One can articulately argue either side of Lincoln’s suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Maryland, while the other keeps confusing Lincoln with the Town of Lincoln, where his uncle lives.

            One is intrigued with the 5th Amendment implications of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation while the other is intrigued with the fact that if you look really closely at the back of one of the older pennies, you can see the statute of Lincoln in the Lincoln memorial.

            How do you teach such a class???

          2. There is an alternative outcome: the coaches bench the less skilled and teach to the more skilled only. The unskilled get virtually nothing out of what is taught to the more skilled and they think of themselves as “bad at” whatever sport it is.

            What almost never happens is appropriate level of skills are taught to each skill level. There simply isn’t time for the limited staff to do that.

            Not grouping or tracking is is an ineffective use of the teaching resources that exist.

            1. But in the end in the work environment the high performers yield the best return on investment for their manager’s mentoring time.

              1. Yes. So sports teams where the coach focuses on improving the good players and ignores the poor ones will likely win games.

                It doesn’t do the poor players much good to warm the bench. So few people would advocate that leveling to pick the players at random actually helps the poor players.
                What we usually try to do is have the Varsity team, and other teams that might play intramurals, or play in PE.

                But someone, when it comes to math, people think it will help the poor players and not hurt the good players to mix them all together. Most likely, the education of one group, the other or both will be badly served.

    5. “This is a public school, it’s job is not to reward abstract ideas about meritocracy, it is to serve all the taxpayers in the county. If a government program overwhelmingly focuses benefits on a group making up only 1/5 of the population that’s going to lead to serious division as a matter of human nature.”

      Long pause….

      There is a Federal Law known as FAPE — each child is entitled to a “free and appropriate public education.

      The government program *does* overwhelmingly focus on what is actually less than 1/10th of the population — SPED.

      Now what’s never been tested legally — but IMHO should be — is the FAPE obligations to the other side of the curve — the gifted & talented. I.e. the Asian kids….

      1. Now what’s never been tested legally — but IMHO should be — is the FAPE obligations to the other side of the curve — the gifted & talented. I.e. the Asian kids….

        Since the statute at issue expressly only applies to educational programs for children with disabilities, that lawsuit is about as stupid as everything else you’ve posted here, you walking illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

        1. Someone doesn’t realize that gifted and talented students can have disabilities as well…

    6. The government program in question did not ‘focuses benefits’ on any group – it used an objective measure of competency (standardized test) to allocate limited resources, across all groups. You just don’t like the fact that one group does better on this metric.

    7. “If a government program overwhelmingly focuses benefits on a group making up only 1/5 of the population that’s going to lead to serious division as a matter of human nature.”

      So, you think welfare is a bad idea, got it.

    8. Oh nonsense. TJ is not the only public high school in Fairfax County.
      The action was driven by the woke and taken with expressed animus toward Asians.
      Don’t shut your ears because you don’t like the music.

      1. In fairness, demand for schools like TJ, by qualified students, often exceeds capacity — because students serious about education wish to leave schools that suck.

        The schools that suck don’t want to lose enrollment, particularly of their best students.

        1. Look Ed, I went to a public high school with no entrance exams. The 9th grade enrollment was 600. The size of the graduating class was 150. That means 450 went to complete high school at other schools everyone had a chance.

          The facts are that such “elite” public schools have been under attack for decades. The woke theology now provides a convenient cover for the forces of mediocracy.

          1. Don,

            Ed is actually correct here. TJ is a bit of a rarity. In many respects it’s the “Harvard” of Public high schools. The average SATs for its graduating class were 781 and 734 (Math, Verbal). It had a 99% 4-year college acceptance rate. Course offerings include Linear Calculus, Neurobiology, and Parallel Computing 1 and 2. It really is an elite public high school.

            Is it possible to do well without going to such a high school? Absolutely. Would going to TJ give many children a leg up? Yes.

            1. AL,
              You missed my points. I appreciate that TJ is a rarity like Boston Latin and a a few others around the country
              1) Skip the exams. Let all come for 6 months or a year. Grade hard. The 25% that survive will do well. All my HS clasmates did. College acceptance 100%.
              2) The attack on TJ is just a very old attack on elite public school that has been going on for 50 years. The new attackers just have put the excellence = racism chant as their lead argument.

              1. The problem Don is twofold.

                First, today, there’d be 1200 students wanting to try out for those 600 seats.

                Second, there’d be 450 lawsuits each year…

                My point was that there aren’t enough seats in the elite schools….

                1. Your made up numbers. Would it be that large if students KNEW that only 12% would survive the year. And why law suits especially if they sign a waiver to have the seat in the first place.

                  If there are still not enough seats, then we need more elite schools not fewer.

                2. Any society that is driven by fear of being sued is in for lots of nonsense like you see at Boston Latin and TJ.
                  The only defense is keeping score, meticulous record keeping, frequent exams in every subject, at least quarterly reports to parents and guardians, including written remediation plans, and high quality counseling. If you want elite, you have to “pay” for elite.
                  That is what works in school and in the workplace.

    9. Another group is a minority but gets a major share of a government program.

    10. It’s not a “great idea” because the top 10% of an all black high school where the average IQ is 85 is still going to be made up of kids who are functionally retarded, much like yourself.

    11. “it’s job is not to reward abstract ideas about meritocracy”
      It’s job is to provide exceptional students an exceptional opportunity. Other students have other public high schools to attend.

  4. “right-wing government policies”

    I don’t see “left-wing government policies” to describe the Fairfax County School Board though.

    1. If you are talking about Ilya that is exactly the reason he used the phrase here. It was to contrast and say this isn’t a left v right argument. The context makes that absolutely clear that he is implicitly labeling this, as well as other affirmative action policies, left-wing government policies. You shouldn’t need it spelled out.

      1. “absolutely clear”

        But its not.

        I say he doesn’t consider the school board left wing and just uses right wing as a slur.

        If he spelled it out then we wouldn’t have to resort to “context” and “implicitly” to defend him.

      2. It seems reasonable to expect someone to use derogatory language in proportion to their level of antipathy to positions that they compare or contrast.

  5. Would these policies be considered hate crimes?

    1. What’s interesting is that Bston Latin is instituting an even more explicit program — quota by ZIP Codes — and a judge accepted that.
      See: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/change-is-boosting-diversity-at-bostons-exam-schools-but-some-feel-angry-about-not-getting-in/ar-AAKcAJf

      1. I wonder how this aligns with state university policies (e.g., Texas) where a certain percentage of the top students from each school are guaranteed admission to the state university system? Those have been around for a while.

        1. It’s not the ONLY way to get into UT.

      2. And people wonder the top school are increasingly reserved for the wealthy who can afford high school at $45K per year

      3. Ed,
        Not surprising at there are even more woke people in Suffolk County than in Fairfax county

    2. In a legal sense, almost certainly not. Hate crimes are (generally) explicitly defined in statutes, and I have seen no one suggest that FCPS’s policy meets any such statutory definition.

      In a rhetorical sense? Possibly, but I have not seen anyone make that argument.

    3. “Would these policies be considered hate crimes?”
      No, just shithead thinking.

  6. Minority versus minority situations like these really break the central premises of critical race theory.

    Is racism responsible for the disparity of outcomes here? Should we blame Asian privilege? Are we to assume that Asians don’t face discrimination and have not been historically oppressed? Maybe we should assume that other minorities are just not as smart as Asians, which is a racist assumption?

    The truth of it is culture matters, there is Asian culture and black culture and white culture and Hispanic culture. There are differences in culture and when there’s differences those will lead to a difference in outcome. Asian culture places a higher emphasis on academics, so much so that there’s even a stereotype of it called tiger moms.

    Is there any such stereotype when it comes to other minority mothers?

    1. In 1945, the average Japanese IQ was tested at 100. In 1965, it was 110. No genetic effect can change that quickly. They decided to study hard as a nation.

      1. There was such carnage during WWII that you can’t ignore either that IQ is a helpful survival skill in battle and (more importantly) higher IQ men tended to be in a MOS with a lower mortality rate.

        1. I agree the low IQ people with ADHD get to check the caves for enemy soldiers and get to fly the Kamikze planes. The study was done by American psycologists during the occupation, after the war.

          1. It is not possible to both have a low IQ and ADHD — it’s possible to get a low score but that’s issues with measurement. It’s also often impossible to tell just how high their IQ actually is because they often run out of questions with time still left, and hence you don’t know how many more questions they could have answered.

            But a lot of people with ADHD have IQ scores in the “genius” level.

            As ADHD involves overwhelming the human neural network — a key network hub choking because too much data is being sent through it — one has to first have the intellectual ability to generate that volume of data in the first place.

            If you are stupid, you won’t have ADHD — you can’t for the same reason they don’t have traffic jams in North Korea — no traffic.

            And as to the IQ testing, I believe it was done on schoolchildren (it’s a lot easier, they are all assembled by age cohort).

            In 1945, children born in 1930s — with many having dead fathers.
            In 1965 — with 10% of Japanese men killed in the war — they were born in the 1950s and fathered by men who didn’t die in the war.

            1. One more thing — ADHD is genetic, parts of three different genes, and the theory is that it was a survival skill in cave man days.

              ADHD includes the ability to think faster in an emergency and to prioritize data. Tribes with someone with ADHD got safely back to the cave and lived to reproduce, while those who didn’t — got eaten.

              ADHD is a combat survival ability.

            2. “It is not possible to both have a low IQ and ADHD”
              I doubt that but a few serious medical citations might convince me.

              1. I suspect that, if a child is stupid enough, it might be hard to notice ADHD. My son has it, and a high IQ, and when he gets distracted it’s quite obvious. If he were clueless even when paying attention, it might be less apparent.

                1. I think you have a reasonable hypothesis Brett.

                  1. To be clear, I wouldn’t be shocked if there were at least some degree of association between high IQs and ADHD. “There is no great genius without a touch of madness.”

                    High IQs seem to be a sort of neural overclocking which really IS statistically associated with all sorts of mental issues. I’ve got Asperger’s, my son has ADHD, but this isn’t anecdotal, it’s confirmed my multiple studies.

                    That doesn’t mean you have to have a high IQ to have ADHD, just that it makes it more likely.

              2. Don, see: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/patient_care/adhd_toolkit/adhd19-assessment-table1.pdf

                Now I’m not sure if Brett’s explanation is all that different from mine, I’m just thinking neurologically.

    2. “Minority versus minority situations like these really break the central premises of critical race theory.”

      I’m not saying this pejoratively, but you haven’t actually read much critical race theory, have you? Because they actually talk about that kind of thing quite a bit as being entirely compatible with their ideas.

      1. The holy text of the CRT religion written by Ibram Kendi openly states that all disparities of outcome between races are due to racism.

        There is an interplay between culture and racism, culture promotes values, some of which create a favorable impression in society and reduces racism. Value such as academic achievement promotes high income which promotes high status. The reverse will be true also.

        Even Kobe Bryant stated that kids who study hard and focus on academics are called acting White as an insult.

        Equality of outcome can never be naturally sustained as long as maladaptive cultures are perpetuated, there will always need to be somebody putting their thumb on the scales with reverse racism to make it happen.

        1. You should maybe read the stuff you’re talking about, lest you look like a fool.

          1. Can you articulate why I’m wrong?

          2. Sure, let’s do that.

            “RACIST: One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.
            ANTIRACIST: One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.”

            Get it? A racist is a racist, and an antiracist is an antiracist. “To be a racist is to constantly redefine racist in a way that exonerates one’s changing policies, ideas, and personhood.” (Good thing left-wingers never do that!)

            What does Kendi say about racial disparities, as Joe41 2 referred to? “There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups.” If policies produce or sustain racial inequity, they are racist policies; if they produce or sustain racial equity, they are antiracist.

            I think I can identify who are the fools here.

            1. if unequal outcomes exist then there must be some sort of policy that produced it or by inaction allowed it to happen, and those policies by Kendi’s definition become racist since they produced inequity, therefore all inequality is the product of racism.

              You are supporting my argument not refuting it.

            2. “RACIST: One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea. [emphasis added]

              ANTIRACIST: One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.”

              FASCIST: One who believes the above sophomoric (but quite dangerous) dribble.

              It’s the same mentality as the Nuremburg laws.

          3. Also note the combined implication of the last two quotes: Every policy, everywhere, is either racist or antiracist. Because policies are racist or antiracist based on outcome, you cannot be entirely sure in advance whether a policy will be racist or antiracist. In practice, this means … constantly redefining racism in a way that exonerates one’s changing policies and ideas. Kendi defined that as being a racist.

            1. You realize you’ve let yourself become a fool, right?

              I’m not a fan of the boogeyman that you’ve been told is ‘critical race theory,’ but I came across it *decades* ago in college.

              And now here you are, like a good little ignorant parrot, pointing to a 38 year old professor as emblematic of the movement.

              You’ve ‘learned’ everything about your favorite ‘boogeyman’ from your nightly partisan sources. And you take them as Gospel truth.

              Truly pathetic.

              1. You realize aren’t actually responding to anything that anyone else is saying, right?

                You think left-wingers don’t really get huffy about calling people “slaves” rather than “enslaved people”, or about saying that someone “owned” rather than kept slaves. And now you claim that Abram Kendi is just some rando who isn’t at all emblematic of CRT and antiracism.

                My “side” is not who built him up as some kind of thought leader.

              2. People like the 38 year old professor are a clear & present danger to the future of the republic if they believe that dribble.

                Even though I also will be hurt, the higher ed bubble can’t implode quickly enough.

        2. “The holy text of the CRT religion written by Ibram Kendi”

          Thanks for confirming you don’t know what you’re pontificating about.

      2. Queenie has not read much critical race theory. The Marxist enemy just replaced class warfare with race warfare, exploiting the PC case history of the US. All PC is case. The lawyer profession is the enemy. They serve the oligarchs selling out our nation to China to enrich themselves. PC is a phrase from Mao’s Little Red Book. Translate a little, it contains all modern dialogue about social justice. These enemies give no quarter, and are out to destroy us.

        1. If you give a bird cocaine, feed it conservative talk radio for weeks, you get this kind of post. The worse thing is, he’s really kind of generally like most conservatives these days. Go Cockatoo, Go!

          1. Queenie, what is your racial background if one may ask?

          2. When you’ve come down to the level of “my opponent is a coke head”, not a lot of people are going to take the rest of what you have to say very seriously.

            1. What about the credibility of a person who emotionally denies the chromosomal genotype of every cell in its body?

    3. Obviously Asians enjoy psuedo-white privilege.

  7. Of course the factual problem with the Trump “Muslim” travel ban is that it did not ban all Muslims, on those from certain countries. The constitutional problem with challenging any Muslim travel ban is that non-U.S. persons have no standing to sue for First Amendment rights violations, because the Bill of Rights does not apply to them. (Yes, I strongly disagree with the Hawaii district court judge’s opinion, which fortunately has never been accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court.)

    You may not like the history of immigration restrictions in this country, but it clearly demonstrates that racial and country of origin discrimination are absolutely constitutional. I realize that someone who believes that immigration restrictions are illegitimate might believe otherwise, but that doesn’t change the constitutional reality.

    For the record, I disagreed with Trump’s immigration restrictions, especially those that kept out foreigners who risked their lives volunteering to assist U.S. forces in the Middle East. Congress gave the president wide discretion, and he used it against my policy preferences.

    1. “Of course the factual problem with the Trump “Muslim” travel ban is that it did not ban all Muslims”

      I’m not sure how much work that fact does. If I’m running for Mayor and I say I’m going to make life hard for foreign owned businesses in the town the fact that the ordinance I pass which impacts negatively only foreign owned businesses doesn’t impact all foreign owned businesses means….?

      “The constitutional problem with challenging any Muslim travel ban is that non-U.S. persons have no standing to sue for First Amendment rights violations, because the Bill of Rights does not apply to them. ”

      Iirc the idea was that it was an Establishment Clause violation and standing is always tricky there, also that it was US persons who stood to benefit from the travel (colleges the travelers may have attended or spoke at, etc.) who sued.

      1. Too bad Obama did the same thing, and now Biden with India.

        You’re slipping.

        1. Nope.

          See, I can write childish level conclusory statements too!

      2. And then if you pass a law that only affects 10% of foreign owned businesses, but also affects 5% of domestic businesses….

    2. But do facts matter to people who like to point fingers? Not usually. A story or an emotional implication usually serves for finger-pointing, and facts are casually dismissed.

      The travel ban was for 90 days and it didn’t do what the finger-pointers claimed. They didn’t care.

      1. “But do facts matter to people who like to point fingers? ”

        He said, and then pointed fingers..
        The Least Self Aware Man on the Planet.

        1. Whoa, Queenie, you said the word, man. You need to be cancelled from your woke school.

  8. Tangentially: Rats to AP reporter Matthew Barakat, and to the editors who allowed him to get away with the adverb in “Black and Hispanic students have been woefully underrepresented”. “Underrepresented” may be a statement of face; “woefully underrepresented” is pure opinion, and has no place in what purports to be a news story.

    1. I’ve always read that construction–“woefully x”–as being one of magnitude as well as regret.

      An underrepresented sample might be underrepresented sightly or significantly. When use in this manner, “woefully” has always conveyed a more significant difference–at least in my reading.

      News doesn’t have to lack emotional association to social norms in order to be accurate, either. A reporter expressing shock and grief over seeing the Hindenburg aflame with passengers leaping to their deaths isn’t going to be questioned on his opinion that the event was tragic. One doesn’t have to report on historic apartheid in South Africa or Jim Crow America dispassionately in order to maintain a professional reputation.

  9. The subtext is that the rest of the schools in that district are places where lots of students want to leave. Because the rest of the schools do an inferior job.

    1. And that the teachers union is why TJ can’t be expanded at the expense of schools that suck.

  10. The holy text of the CRT religion written by Ibram Kendi openly states that all disparities of outcome between races are due to racism.

    There is an interplay between culture and racism, culture promotes values, some of which create a favorable impression in society and reduces racism. Value such as academic achievement promotes high income which promotes high status. The reverse will be true also.

    Even Kobe Bryant stated that kids who study hard and focus on academics are called acting White as an insult.

    Equality of outcome can never be naturally sustained as long as maladaptive cultures are perpetuated, there will always need to be somebody putting their thumb on the scales with reverse racism to make it happen.

  11. So if and admissions policy based on merit, merit which is often a byproduct of culture, produces unequal outcomes then merit is racist. You can even say pushing your kid to excel, your culture, is a racist in itself because your kid may surpass someone of another race and therefore violate equity.

    If practicing equality, that is treating people equally without regard to race, produces unequal outcomes (more Asians) as it does in absence of affirmative action, then equality itself is racist.

    I think this is America’s biggest hang up on CRT, equality has been the highest liberal virtue for the 50 years since Martin Luther King’s death. Now we’re told you have to abandon that value because it is itself racist. It’s a hard sell to say Martin Luther King is racist and It’s going to take a whole lot of conditioning to overcome 50 years of cultural inertia.

    Kendi, those like him have the ultimate end result of separating people in the boxes and pitting them against each other, a divisive force, not a unifying one, that seeks out fissures in society and drives a crowbar in it.

    He is what Russian government trolls wish they could be, someone who keeps Americans fighting each other.

    1. This guy has a degree in Foxology, which may transfer to Glenn Beck University!

      1. You clearly skipped over the ad hominem lesson in your University, can you actually refute anything I said with logical arguments?

        1. Queenie is committing the Fallacy of Irrelevance. In a tribunal, a judge would rejoinder it.

      2. Must you be so facile? These are valid points. Grow up and address them.

        1. I Callahan, Joe412 hasn’t made any points. He is engaging in rationalism. If reason were as good a tool as some folks suppose, then rationalist arguments would always point toward confirming evidence. They don’t. And rationalism without evidence proves nothing at all. You always have to go out and gather experience.

          Rationalism in politics is a tool beloved by ideologues. It serves alike ideologues of all stripes. Rationalist flaws which infest Marxist thought are similarly manifest among classical liberals, libertarians, colonialists, free marketeers, anti-colonialists, meritocrats, nationalists, democratic socialists, militarists, and anti-racists—no doubt among many others.

          Valid political points are based on experience, not rationalism. Their validity lasts only as long as continuing experience continues to confirm them. Taken generally, the variety and mutability of political experience delivers persuasive evidence against the wisdom of ascribing validity to rationalist arguments.

          1. You can point to literal segregation of the students as a frequent feature of anti-racist training. Literally separating people in the boxes and treating them differently according to their race.

            There are many well documented and actual cases of that.

            1. Joe412, taking your comment as true, so what? Can you explain what about that comment justifies your ideological preference for meritocracy as a wise choice of ideology for the nation at this moment in its history?

              1. You can make a fiscal argument out of it out of many, GMAT test scores are one of the best predictors of graduation rate, to ignore those or selecting people with lower scores due to racial balancing would allow unprepared people into the program leading to an decrease of graduation rate, leading to wasted subsidized tuition and leaving racial minorities saddled with large debts without a law degree to help pay it off.

                Or perhaps you could have a professional competence argument, would you like to be treated by a doctor who only became so because they needed more of a particular minority and not because they were highly competent?

                Regardless my beef isn’t necessarily with merit or the lack thereof, it’s with the weak foundation of this push for equity. It offends my classical liberal values because it’s proponents place equity above equality it’s racism 2.0 and is corrosive to racial Harmony.

                1. Sorry I meant LSAT not GMAT

                2. Standardized test scores do not predict success in college. Your high school GPA is a far better predictor. Just Google for “SAT correlation college success” and read through a few of the results.

                  A lot of what people think of as “merit” is merely meritted through the luck of being born to a family with more financial resources.

                  How hard a kid works within the cariculum he was given by virtue of the neighborhood his parents could afford is far more predictive than SAT/ACT/GMAT/LSAT or any other standardized test.

          2. “He is engaging in rationalism.”
            And you prefer irrationalism. Or empiricism without rationality. You’d decide that the rate at which an object falls to earth is proportional to its mass. That was the empiricist fallacy that persisted for 2000 years, when a simple Gedanken experiment (yup that is rationalism as practiced by modern physicists) would should that the empiricist claim is false and that all objects must fall at the same rate once air resistance is discounted.

      3. Queenie, aren’t you in denial of the chromosome genotype of every cell in your body? What credibility do such deniers have left?

  12. “Seriously, the question is whether the asians are getting illegally shafted, not who’s benefiting from the shafting.”

    My guess is that Ilya would agree with you and he was just pointing out that the policy will have a result that will be the opposite of what was intended, that is, it will wind up benefiting whites, not blacks.

  13. “UPDATE: For those keeping track, I have also long argued for strong judicial scrutiny of cases where the right-wing government policies engages in pretextual discrimination…”

    See, here’s the thing: the very fact that you feel like you must provide evidence “for those keeping track” is an admission that you have conceded the point about equality of outcomes.

    There’s a huge rhetorical trick being played on you where your opponents turn every argument of substance you have into an argument of morality.

    Don’t play that game. Let your arguments stand or fall on their own.

  14. How about this simple suggestion for EVERYONE, moving forward: Don’t indicate your race when filling out surveys, when answering questionnaires, when applying for jobs, or schools, or…. anything. (As we know, how you “identify” may change from day to day, and has no real bearing in objective reality, anyway–so you’re not lying or misrepresenting anything that can be disproven.)

    Most questionnaires have a choice for “Decline to self-identify.” Or just leave it blank. If you have to answer something, then choose the first option if you’re filling out the form on a Monday, the second option on a Tuesday, and so on.

    We all know that this data gathering surrounding “race” is especially pernicious and being used for purposes that are at very least questionable, and at most discriminatory.

    Make sure that the data they have on you is as useless as the purposes they’re mis-using it for.

    1. The manager of an apartment complex that rents to UMass students mentioned that — someone (HUD?) mandates he report the racial demographics of those he rents to. Except he’s never met the roommates, only seen their names listed.

      He was told to “guess” — based on the person’s name.

    2. If you’re getting a mortgage, the lender scores points with federal regulators for lending to people who identify as black or Hispanic. Choose depending on whether you like the lender.

    3. If you leave it blank, or put down something like “human,” they’ll assume you’re white.

    4. “Most questionnaires have a choice for “Decline to self-identify.””
      I routinely do that.

  15. TRANSVAX: A person who has not been vaccinated but identifies as having been.

  16. And nearly all of these Asians vote for Democrats. So screw them. They deserve what they get from the blacks and Hispanics, including the “hate crimes.”

  17. If the Fairfax County plan does get implemented, I predict that within 5 years they will discover the balance is back to 70% Asian in the schools. Once it’s set, developers will find ways to transform some housing in currently lagging middle school districts so that it is attractive. Some of Asians (and whites) will move and hire tutors to help their kids. Those kids will dominate the top 1.5% in their middle schools and still make it into the magnet.

    This might not bad thing for the public schools who will each have a more even distribution of kids who want to achieve. But the “inequity” will continue.

    1. When I notice the identity of graduate students and post-docs at top physics department, I see an enormous percentage of Asians.
      When I was teaching at UCLA, the percentage of Asians in the Engineering graduate school was over 60%.
      In the end, woke politics is not going to change the answer to “who delivers bang for the buck.”

    2. Because the lower prices in predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods aren’t enough to attract white and Asian homeowners who can afford wealthier neighborhoods? They avoid cheaper housing for a reason. Your basing your prediction on the fact that they’d rather pay extra for tutors and live as a minority in a Black or Latinx area in order to “advantage” their children rather than just pay extra for a private school and sidestep the whole “magnet” thing from the outset.

      Here’s a free hint: magnet schools don’t really improve your kids’ chances at getting into a good college. If you want them in a good college, make sure they take as many AP classes as possible, maybe get them into a standardized testing study program (if the school you have your eye on uses the SAT/ACT still), and make sure their vocabulary and writings skills are above average.

  18. Don Nico,
    I have a ph.d. in mechanical engineering. So I know exactly what you mean.

    I am now semi-retired, but tutor part time (~10 hours a week.) Most of my students are taking AP Physics (some take topics in engineering.) Most tutoring is online.
    I haven’t taken formal statistics and even if I did any I collected would be samples of convenience and also my ethnic evaluations is based on “what they look like” and “their last names”. With respect to the kids taking high school physics:

    Informally, definitely over 1/2 of students I tutor are “Desi” (Bengali, Pakistani, Indian). Perhaps 1/6 are east asian. Perhaps 1/6 are white. The rest fall in “everything else”. Of the “everything else” and and also the white, over time it generally becomes apparent that many have at least one immigrant parent. (Among the white these could be France, Mexico, Spain, Iran, Latin American Somewhere in the general “arab” regions and so on. My evaluation of this is sometimes based on accent. )

    Nearly all the high school kids have standard US accents.

    Most are also taking other AP courses including Lang and Lit, History, foreign languages. Most do extra curricular activities. These kids are strongly encouraged to take rigorous classes but also given great external support so they don’t founder.

    The parents are, quite likely, also higher than average IQ. Intelligence is somewhat heritable. Even with some regression to the mean, the kids are too.

    Their parents also look out for what the lay of the land is. The kids might be disadvantaged by a sudden change this year. But collectively, the families are going to talk to each other, figure out the new “rules” and see to it their kids get the best education they can given rules of the game. Say you are moving near Fairfax Co. this year. The new rule limits the # kids from school A this year. You look for a rental in a good but adjacent middle school and hire tutors. (You were probably going to hire the tutors anyway.)

    Over 5 years, they are going to figure out what the new rules are and adapt. Some of this will involve something similar to Ilya’s “foot voting”. These kids are going to be more spread out and over represented in the top 1.5% of gpa, on standardized tests and also extra curriculars. They have great supportive parents and turn out to be great high achieving kids.

    What Fairfax County is doing is unfair. I predict it’s also not going to achieve their goals.

    1. All forced busing in Boston accomplished was to drive White parents out to the suburbs.

      1. Dr. Ed 2,
        This will also cause some parents to enroll kids in private schools for “reasons”. Some other changes — like the shift to not tracking math in middle school– is going to result in more parents picking private schools.

        I don’t know how the proposed admissions methods at TJ high school is going to deal with home schooled kids or private schools. When the demographic of parents who cares a lot learns how it does, they will adapt their strategies. The parents who don’t care as much about their children’s academic excellence will not adapt to get their kids in TJ school. That’s most parents since there are disadvantages to sending your kids to a school that might be far away and that might not suit the kid.

        But honestly, I bet this proposed plan will not ultimately accomplish the “equity” those designing the process hope for. (Also: making SAT/ACT optional is probably not going to achieve the “equity” either. It will kill the SAT/ACT prep business, but that money will just be spent on tutors for Advance Placement and so on!)

        1. One of Conquest’s laws states that bureaucracies frequently act as though controlled by a cabal of their enemies. In the last couple of years, the public school bureaucracy has been acting as though they were controlled by the home schooling and voucher movements.

          I don’t think they could have pursued policies better calculated to drive as many parents a possible to look for alternatives, and raise the political force behind making the money follow them.

    2. If we lived in a country where advantaged, white families would move into a poor Black or Latinx neighborhood in order to advantage their kids, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion about some magnet school’s admissions standards.

  19. I would imagine that, even at the schools that are predominately black, the few Asians and whites STILL make up the majority of the top 1.5%.

  20. Now that Justice Kennedy has been replaced by generally more conservative Justices, it is entirely possible that some of his opinions will be overturnned. This may be particularly the case where his opinion can be regarded as something of a waffling compromise between two views each more logically consistent on its own terms.

    But for the time being, Justice Kennedy’s view remains the law on this issue.

    And that view is that while a school can’t use direct quotas, it nonetheless has a heightened interest in having a diverse student body, and this interest permits it to achieve the goal of diversity as long as it uses indirect means. What the Fairfax County School Board has done here seems completely consistent with that view.

    I’ve often pointed out the logical inconsistency of Justice Kennedy’s views on these things. If diversity in children’s environment is really such a heightened state interest, why doesn’t it justify laws against gay marriage? After all, children don’t change biologically when they pass through the door from home to school. It just seems highly implausible that the very same idea that diversity is valuable and its lack a problem could somehow be so obviously false and unfair as to irrational animosity when children happen to be on one side of the door, yet so obviously true and just as to constitute a heightened state interest when children happen to be on the other. A philosophy that aligns with ones preferred political outcomes this tightly contrived seems, frankly, a bit contrived.

    1. Of course, a ban on gay marriage is adirect means of achieving gender diversity in marriage, in effect a mandatory 50% quota. But Kennedy never applied the Supreme Court’s diversity jurisprudence in reaching hos result. He acted as if a legislature’s wish to see gender diversity in a home were somehow something qualitatively different from its wish to see gender diversity in a school. He simply assumed that a legislature’s desire for gender diversity on a school is a CONSTITUTIONAL good, while it’s desire for gender diversity in a home is a CONSTITUTIONAL bad, for no other reason that he personally thought these things, much as a justice who personally likes broccoli and hates spinach, and is unable to see boundaries between his role as a Justice ans his personal preferences, might see a compelling state interest in cultivating brocolli while seeing any professed state interest in cultivating spinach as completely irrational

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