August 23, 2023

Supreme Court Asked to Consider School Race Admission Case

The Supreme Court has been asked to consider a new chase involving race in school admissions, this time involving a well-known high school.

The Pacific Legal Foundation asked for the court to hear the case involving admissions at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and its "race-neutral" selection process.

"In May, a three-judge panel from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruled 2-1 to uphold the constitutionality of the new admissions policy, which critics said discriminates against highly qualified Asian Americans," according to the Hill.

“Having spent decades telling school officials they must consider race-neutral methods for ensuring a diverse student body before turning to race-conscious ones, it would be quite the judicial bait-and-switch to say such race-neutral efforts are also presumptively unconstitutional,” Judge Toby Heytens wrote in a concurring opinion.

"In 2020, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., overhauled its admission standards following the murder of George Floyd," the National Review reported.

"Among the policies enacted at the time were the removal of standardized entry tests and the allocation of admissions evenly across the system’s feeder schools, rather than taking the top applicants across the entire district," it added.

The changes led to a significant drop in Asian American enrollment in the school, from 73% to 54%, according to the report.

The case comes shortly after the Supreme Court ruled against race-based admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The new effort now hopes to apply the ruling to the high school level to fight back against efforts allegedly hurting merit-based enrollment at top schools.

The move could have impacts on high schools nationwide if the court decides to take on the case in the next session.

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