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Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Admissions Director Steps Down

Tanisha Holland has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) since June 2010. She will work with the school's human resources department.

Patch File Photo. Credit: Sherell Williams
Patch File Photo. Credit: Sherell Williams

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s admissions director has stepped down from her position with the governor's school, according to the Washington Post.

Tanisha Holland, who has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) since June 2010, will work with the human resources department where she will focus on recruitment.

Jeremy Shughart with the student-testing office will replace Holland as the admission director for a year. Holland has the option of returning to the position in 2014, the Post states.

Despite the school’s numerous accolades and long list of student achievements, TJ has come under fire for its admissions process and lack of diversity among its student population in the last three years.

For example, the majority of students offered admission in April to the TJ class of 2017 are predominantly Asian, according to statistics from the school. Sixty-six percent, or 317, of the students admitted are of Asian descent and 123 or 25.6 percent are white. A total of 18 students, about 3.8 percent, are listed as from a multiracial or other background. Fifteen students, or 3 percent, of admitted students are Hispanic while a total of 5 students, or 1 percent, are black.

About 58 percent, or 279 of the students offered admission, are male and 201, or about 41 percent, are female. 

See more admissions statistics for the TJ class of 2017 here on Patch.

Back in July 2012, the Coalition of the Silence (COTS), a group founded by former Fairfax County School Board member Tina Hone and the Fairfax branch of the NAACP filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights against TJ. 

Read more on Patch: NAACP, Local Advocates File Discrimination Complaint Against FCPS

That same month, the Fairfax County School Board announced they would make changes to the TJ admissions process in order to address low student performance in math and look into the racial disparities in the school’s admission rates.

The board is expected to vote on those changes in September. 

Read more on Patch

John G July 29, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Hopefully, there will be no decrease in the admissions standards to boost "diversity" in this school...I fear the blind pursuit of diversity for diversity's sake will only lower the quality of the incoming student body...set asides and quotas just don't work and by their very nature are prejudicial and racist...can there be a 'blind admission' policy? Hopefully, expanded recruitment will encourage more QUALIFIED applicants from all backgrounds to apply and be accepted on merit alone.
C. Ford July 30, 2013 at 11:18 AM
What I want to see is an admissions policy that only accepts Fairfax County residents. I was shocked when I found out that this Ffx County resource, with a huge waiting list of qualified applicants, is taking students from other school districts. That should be stopped, and right now! (Ok, with the caveat that the kids who are already there be allowed to finish out high school). I also agree that this should be a blind admissions policy: grades/scores and extra-curriculars of county residents, that is it. I'm glad the school is so highy-ranked (although that doesn't mean I want my kids going there, and my eldest is on track for it), but it is a tax-payer funded school and should have residency restrictions. In college I paid 3x the rate of in-state students for my education at a state university. Since there are more than enough high-scoring kids in the Fairfax County system, and the county is not out to 'make a profit' why should students from other districts even be considered?

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