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Letter: No Enemies on TJ Admissions Front

Published on: 
Thu, 08/16/2012
Media Source: 
Connection Newspapers

I’m writing about the complaint filed by the Coalition of the Silence regarding the lack of representation of Black, Latino, poor and disabled kids at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and about why this issue is worthy of immediate community action, regardless of the complaint’s final disposition.

1) Too many Fairfax County Public Schools administrators and school board members respond to revealed problems and areas needing significant improvement in dismissive ways. They:

a) Make changes because they already agree with the advocacy and there is little political risk (a.k.a. Full-Day Kindergarten, Real Food for Kids)

b) Make superficial changes and call it a day, then try to dismantle any small changes made (a.k.a. discipline reform, healthy high school start times)

c) Make changes when shamed (a.k.a. restoring honors programs, FairGrade)

d) Delay, obfuscate, sabotage, spin, circle the wagons, attack advocates as being too organized or not organized (and therefore "silent") and otherwise use its considerable resources to dismiss and ignore problems and disparage advocates as being irrelevant or "unpatriotic" to the school or county or economy

The fifth option, admitting to an ugly problem and authentically collaborating with advocates on solutions, is rarely chosen.

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