From Washington Post by T. Rees Shapiro:
The Fairfax County School Boards governance committee is recommending that the admissions policy for the countys most elite high school be reviewed and possibly amended.

The committee will make its recommendation regarding admissions at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (known as TJ) to the full board at its next work session Oct. 15.

During a meeting this week, the committee, chaired by Dan Storck (Mount Vernon), discussed revising Policy 3355 to make the admissions process more competitive. If the plan moves forward, a new admissions policy would take effect for next years applicants, the future students of the class of 2018.

School Superintendent Jack Dale said at the governance meeting that the task of finding the areas brightest young minds is not easy.

Its hard to predict how they will perform three or four years down the road, Dale said. I mean, they are humans. There are so many things changing in their lives.

The board members opted to review the schools already rigorous admissions process after reports came out last spring that TJ teachers had found some freshman students were struggling in math and science.

In a letter to the School Board, a group of TJ teachers wrote that the schools math entrance exam tested applicants at a sixth-grade level.

The teachers wrote that such a low level of proficiency was not the right way to identify the countys top eighth-grade math wizards.

By possibly amending the schools policy, the board could make the standards for admission more difficult. Board member Megan McLaughlin (Braddock) said only the brightest math minds should attend TJ. She was concerned that the proportion of students at TJ taking the most challenging math classes had become stagnant over the years.

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