Thomas Jefferson High alumni rally for change in student admissions process

jefferson rally
Thomas Jefferson High alumni were looking to be heard loud and clear outside of the school during a rally to change the way students are admitted.

jefferson rally
A woman speaks during a rally to change the way students are admitted to Thomas Jefferson High.

jefferson rally
Thomas Jefferson High alumni speak outside of the school during a rally to change the way students are admitted.

jefferson rally
Groups gather with signs outside of Thomas Jefferson High during a rally to change the way students are admitted.

jefferson rally
Groups gather with signs outside of Thomas Jefferson High during a rally to change the way students are admitted.

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jefferson rally
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Thomas Jefferson High alumni were looking to be heard loud and clear outside of the school in Alexandria, Virginia, on Sunday during a rally to change the way students are admitted.

They said the change would allow for greater inclusion and equity among the student body.

Makya Little, president of the school’s alumni action group, said they’re supporting Fairfax County Public Schools and their proposed merit lottery for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology admissions.

The group has about 1,000 alumni members.

“We recognized that there was an unfortunate trend,” Little said. “The first thing that we’re asking for is a revamped admissions process that is more equitable.”

The proposal would change admissions from being test-based to a lottery system that would require a 3.5 GPA.

The school often ranks No. 1 in the nation. Little said the change would make the student body more diverse.

“At TJ, it was really hard to walk the halls and not feel a sense of judgement from your peers and your teachers who felt that you were only there for the color of your skin and not because you too were meritorious and deserving of the opportunity,” Little said.

Last month, one student at the school told WTOP that while the student body could become more diverse, removing the test from the admission process isn’t the solution.

The school board vote on the issue is scheduled for Oct. 8.

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