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Posted at 5:30 AM ET, 12/22/2010

How many minorities rejected by most selective high school?

By Jay Mathews

It has been exactly a month since Jeanie Meikle, a frequent reader of this blog, asked me this good question:

"In all the articles I have read about TJ [the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the most selective secondary school in the country] and its failures of inclusiveness, I have never seen the statistics as to how many (and %) of applicants were African American or Hispanic or what the acceptance rate of those applicants was. … So do you by any chance know what the numbers are?"

I didn't, but I asked Fairfax County schools spokesman Paul Regnier and he got them for me. The delay in posting them is entirely my fault. All of the sports teams in Washington have been collapsing into shapeless mediocrity, and worse. I needed time to reflect on that.

The admissions statistics for the Jefferson class of 2014, this year's ninth-graders, show there were 3,119 applicants, of which 480, or 15.4 percent, were admitted. This included 272 boys (16.4 percent of those that applied) and 208 girls (14.2 percent of applicants.)

Looking at applicants of different ethnicities, the crux of Meikle's question, 184 African Americans applied and four (2.3 percent of those applying) were admitted. With Hispanics, the figures were 225 applied and 13 (5.8 percent) admitted. In the multiracial category, 190 applied and 21 (11 percent) were admitted.

The number of whites (1,277) and Asians (1,243) who applied was close, but their admission rates were not. Of whites, 166 (13 percent) were admitted and 276 Asians (22.2 percent) were admitted.

Jefferson officials say the first cut of applicants is based on grades and test scores. In the second round, personal characteristics are considered. Students strongly interested in math and science have an advantage, officials say, which may explain why Asian Americans -- whose families are more likely to revere science and scholarship -- are the largest ethnic group in the school.

For the class of 2010, Jefferson had an average SAT score of 2233, the highest in the country by far. What do you think of this degree of selectivity, and the differences in admission rates for different ethnicities?

Read Jay's blog every day, and follow all of The Post's Education coverage on Twitter, Facebook and our Education Web page.

By Jay Mathews  | December 22, 2010; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  22.2 percent of Asians admitted, Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology, admission rates for different ethnicities, only 2.3 percent of African Americans  
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Comments

Jay - Saying that the second round of cuts is based on "personal characteristics" (your words, but I assume a faithful translation of theirs) is a misnomer. What the second round actually consists of is the way for privilege to exert its (self-defined) rightful place.
How are these personal characteristics determined? Are the applicants asked? Of course not. Instead, what are actually considered are written recommendations. And, as you know so well and as you have instructed your readers over the years, the best recommendations have far more to do with the author than the person being recommended. This is why parents place their students at specific schools - they know that the recommendations from that school sway the jury.
Those without such privilege - without the ability to live where they choose to because they can't afford it - have to take whatever they can get. And what they don't get is into TJ.
The FCPS should do away with any and every subjective evaluating criteria for admission to TJ. Even better, it should either do away with TJ or, better yet, create a "TJ" at every FCPS high school. It can be done. But they won't, because that would water down the "accomplishments" of TJ's students and take away the competitive advantage their parents bought for them.
And "bought" is the only way to term what they do.

Posted by: LoveIB | December 22, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Jay, if the black and Hispanic students accepted had scores way, way below the whites and Asians, you would have mentioned it, right?

I bet they went far below the average for whites and Asians to get those students. TJ has an average SAT of 2233. Only 25% of African Americans get over 500 on any section of the SAT, meaning that only 25% or thereabouts get over 1500.

Even assuming a huge, huge skew on "personal characteristics", it's unlikely they could find a lot of African Americans who were even in the ballpark.

BTW, there seems to be some notion that the "personal achievements" section is a way of weeding out African Americans and Hispanics. This is absurd; the second round is most assuredly to come up with a pretext to accept some small number of underrepresented minorities.

Anyway, Jay, if you can't release the actual scores, you should at least acknowledge their skew.

And of course, if there isn't a skew, and if TJ is this amazingly racist school actively discriminating against blacks and Hispanics, rather than desperately trying against the odds to find as many as they can who can get the work done, then mea culpa for following the facts, rather than the oddball exception.

Posted by: Cal_Lanier | December 22, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The knee-jerk response is to suggest some sort of institutional racism. That's certainly possible, but you also have to factor in the fact that there is a very real achievement gap in this country, even among middle-income whites and minorities. I have seen it among the Advanced Placement students that I work with -- minority students (especially African American males) who are decent kids from decent professional families but for some reason do not perform as well as their white counterparts on the ACT or the AP tests. What I've observed in the classroom mirrors, for example, the national disaggregated AP passing rates and ACT averages (http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/student/testing/ap/sumrpts/2010/NATIONAL_Summary.xls). As a teacher it is very frustrating, but it is also a current reality. We've done a good job in this country of talking about the gap, but a deplorable job of researching why the gap exists and how to remediate it.

I do not know the specific situation at Thomas Jefferson. I don't know if it's test scores or the interviews (or both) that are the factor. If nothing else, it is a stark reminder of the challenges we have in this country in terms of helping traditionally disadvantaged minorities.

Posted by: joshofstl1 | December 22, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Without more information about the qualifications of the different groups its hard to draw many conclusions.

Posted by: jake77 | December 22, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh Please...not again...

Japanese, Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Pakistani...are all minorities. Their cultures are very different. Do you care why they get into selective schools? No, you don't. Because to you, these kids don't have 'characters'.

Posted by: washingtonian2011 | December 22, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Excellent comments. I tend to think LoveIB has a good point, but it is hard for me to answer Cal's question about the scores because I have never seen them released by TJ, broken down by race. I will try to see if they are available. I suspect the answer is no.

Posted by: Jay Mathews | December 22, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If we look beyond children's appearances, we see a profile of economic advantage at TJ. 1.9% economically disadvantaged and almost 10% from private schools.

We also see students who know how to take the TJ test. Practice often begins quite early. Some have taken the SAT in middle school as part of the CTY Johns Hopkins Program, some pay for tutoring for the TJ test. I've talked with many parents whose children are in 6th grade and beginning TJ test prep at about $70 a week for years.
Their success rate is high.

TJ students do not reflect FCPS's profile because most TJ students are not a reflection of a FCPS education. More often a TJ student reflects money, tutoring, highly-educated parents and such.

Posted by: RubyBridges | December 22, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

How do we know that those who applied to TJ were the only potentially qualified African-Americans and Latinos in the district? If I'm a bright 13-14 y.o. minority kid and I know that selective colleges will be beating down my door to admit me provided I have good grades & test scores, what real incentive do I have to bust my rear at TJ? Why not just coast at my local school?

Posted by: CrimsonWife | December 22, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Jay,

It might be interesting to list the top five and the bottom five middle schools that feed TJ along with their ZIP codes and subsidized lunch percentages.

I suspect success at getting into TJ is highly correlated with family income and by extension family educational levels. Perhaps this is already well known or assumed?

Posted by: fairfaxvaguy | December 22, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Jay,

It might be interesting to list the top five and the bottom five middle schools that feed TJ along with their ZIP codes and subsidized lunch percentages.

I suspect success at getting into TJ is highly correlated with family income and by extension family educational levels.

Perhaps this is already well known or assumed?

Posted by: fairfaxvaguy | December 22, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

for fairfaxvaguy---You hit on it exactly. The middle schools in the most affluent areas do the best in TJ admissions, just as the high schools in the most affluent areas do the best in Yale admissions.

for CrimsonWife---You have it right. I don't think it would help to coast at the non-TJ schools, but you are likely to get a more well-rounded education at the non-TJ school, if you are not so passionate about math and science, and you will more likely to be noticed at the non-TJ school because the number of classmates competing to get into the most selective colleges will be much smaller.

Posted by: Jay Mathews | December 22, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I would be interested in knowing the number of kids from each group that made the first cut. For example, did only 4 black students make the first cut? Were 500 whites whittled down to 166? This would demonstrate how much weight is given to the "subjective" final decision.

Posted by: lisamc31 | December 22, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

You can get a "well rounded" education at TJ too. there are plenty of humanities electives and many graduates major in humanities in college.

Posted by: avidwpostreader | December 22, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Jay -- the assumption that the "middle schools in the most affluent areas do the best in TJ admissions, just as the high schools in the most affluent areas do the best in Yale admissions" does not seem to be based on credible evidence, at least in the case of TJHSST.

Coming from a TJ student admitted from a non-affluent area (at least in Fairfax standards, Springfield), I would argue that students who attend schools that are not in the most affluent areas can stand out more from their peers. For those who don't know, the second round consists of a set of teacher recommendations and a written personal statement.

Teacher recommendations are not a judgment of the background of an applicant (or the wealth of an applicant), but rather the performance of that applicant in the classroom. As a student attending a middle school where it was easy to stand out, my teacher recommendations were no doubt stellar.

CrimsonWife raises a legitimate point that competition at other high schools is much smaller. Jay, when you state that "schools in the most affluent areas do the best in Yale admissions," I think a clarification of "best" is necessary. TJHSST does not have an abnormally high percentage of applicants admitted to elite institutions (trust me, I wish it did). Rather, a third of the school applies to Yale. Nearly all apply to UVA. Taken as a percentage, the admissions statistics from TJ are not favorable (only 3% of TJ's 89 students who applied to Harvard in 2010 were admitted, the national rate is 9%). If 2 students are admitted to Harvard from a regular neighborhood high school out of 5 applications, would you consider TJHSST as doing the "best" in Harvard admissions? The logic of your piece seems to suggest just that.

The reason I note college admissions is because I would like you consider that the issue of "diversity" at TJHSST may not be so connected to the neighborhood middle school or discrepancies in opportunity at all. I have no doubt in my mind that traditional "feeder" schools like Longfellow and/or Kilmer have a much higher percentage of students who apply to TJHSST than at my own middle school (where less than fifty applied). Getting into TJ from a high-performing middle school may be even more challenging, with the increased competition. (this is coming from an admitted student that did not come from such a middle school). The fact that increased competition is an admissions disadvantage is at least true for college.

tl,dr; The assumption that background/wealth/socioeconomics/neighborhood MS determines the outcome of admissions decisions is fundamentally logically fallacious, and a incorrect knee-jerk reaction.

P.S.: Please proofread your piece from unnecessary (and sometimes offensive) generalizations. Asians as likely to "revere science and scholarship"? At least take the time to bring up some evidence rather than operate on societal stereotypes.

Posted by: 2011ksun | December 22, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Who is the staunchest advocate for Black children in Northern Virginia? By advocate, I mean some entity who is just concerned about Black children. I know we are told not to think like that so we don’t. However, this is the crux of the matter Blacks have no advocates in education analogous to the advocacy (Nike, Adidas, street agents, parents) in athletics. This explains why Blacks succeed in football, track basketball, etc and not to mention this is what Black kids want, not top-notch high tier science and math education that TJTHS offers.


Furthermore, it was interesting to see over the last five years white parents fight vehemently for Fairfax County to lower the grading scale so their children could compete with Asian students. Black parents would not dare suggest that the standards be lowered so their children could compete for entrance into Thomas Jefferson. What a pity. I hope the data demonstrates to many of you that racism is not the reason why Blacks are so underrepresented and you can rest comfortably guilt free. God Bless The Good Ole USA!

Posted by: Concerned3 | December 22, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Who is the staunchest advocate for Black children in Northern Virginia? By advocate, I mean some entity who is just concerned about Black children. I know we are told not to think like that so we don’t. However, this is the crux of the matter Blacks have no advocates in education analogous to the advocacy (Nike, Adidas, street agents, parents) in athletics. This explains why Blacks succeed in football, track basketball, etc and not to mention this is what Black kids want, not top-notch high tier science and math education that TJTHS offers.


Furthermore, it was interesting to see over the last five years white parents fight vehemently for Fairfax County to lower the grading scale so their children could compete with Asian students. Black parents would not dare suggest that the standards be lowered so their children could compete for entrance into Thomas Jefferson. What a pity. I hope the data demonstrates to many of you that racism is not the reason why Blacks are so underrepresented and you can rest comfortably guilt free. God Bless The Good Ole USA!

Posted by: Concerned3 | December 22, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Who is the staunchest advocate for Black children in Northern Virginia? By advocate, I mean some entity who is just concerned about Black children. I know we are told not to think like that so we don’t. However, this is the crux of the matter Blacks have no advocates in education analogous to the advocacy (Nike, Adidas, street agents, parents) in athletics. This explains why Blacks succeed in football, track basketball, etc and not to mention this is what Black kids want, not top-notch high tier science and math education that TJTHS offers.


Furthermore, it was interesting to see over the last five years white parents fight vehemently for Fairfax County to lower the grading scale so their children could compete with Asian students. Black parents would not dare suggest that the standards be lowered so their children could compete for entrance into Thomas Jefferson. What a pity. I hope the data demonstrates to many of you that racism is not the reason why Blacks are so underrepresented and you can rest comfortably guilt free. God Bless The Good Ole USA!

Posted by: Concerned3 | December 22, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Jay mathews, why do you hate TJ so much? Did your child not get in or something? Everyone here dispises you deeply. Yes, even the minorities and I and Hispanic. I don't see how a more diverse student population "creates character" as you mentioned before. Stop bitiching about TJ.

Posted by: avidwpostreader | December 22, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

less QQ more PEW PEW

Posted by: rawr1 | December 22, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

This is starting to get ridiculous.

The second round, as you say, considers "personal characteristics." Students who demonstrate a strong interest in science and technology have a strong advantage because it is only those students who will be truly happy in the TJ environment. TJ admissions can evaluate students based on other factors (such as morality, which already is taken into account with the 2nd essay on the TJ admissions test), but really, as a current TJ student myself, I can honestly say that focusing on an interest in science and technology is especially important when evaluating potential students.

As you should already know, TJ has more requisites to graduate than other base schools, which include taking Design&Technology freshmen year, and computer science within the first 2 years. Geosystems is a mandatory class senior year, unlike at many other high schools. History is not a required class freshmen year, because there is simply no space to take it. Everybody I know has had to take summer school to fulfill the credits to graduate.

Frankly, minority or not, people who do not demonstrate a very strong interest in science and technology will, simply, not enjoy the TJ experience. I have many friends interested in going into the liberal arts in college, but was unable to pursue their liberal arts interests at TJ because of the lack of space to take liberal arts courses. Thus, their time at TJ was absolutely miserable. I have a friend very into neuroscience, and she considers TJ her second home.

TJ does not do affirmative action; it is completely merit-based. People who not only have strong test scores and high grades, but also have a strong interest in science and technology get in. TJ is a SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY school. It is only right that they base their admissions on such qualities. If you are looking for a school that focuses on other subjects/traits, go look somewhere else. If your kid is not interested in the sciences, regardless of whether they be a minority or not, they will not enjoy TJ. If they do not get in, consider it a blessing--TJ would've probably been a horrible experience for them.

Affirmative action, in and of itself is discrimination. This is especially evident in the midst of the college application process. I know of various people who have gotten into excellent, top-tier schools. Instead of congratulating them on their merits, however, students generally say, "Oh, he got in because he's Native American/Hispanic/African American." At TJ, that is not the case. Everyone gets in because they deserved it. Not because of their race.

In the end, TJ's system is for the best. Even the minorities at TJ are strongly against your articles, Jay Matthew. Once the minorities start criticizing articles that supposedly support them, you better think twice about writing about the same topic in the future.

Posted by: equan_3 | December 22, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Lack of minority students isn't a problem. It's just a thing.

Posted by: HalcyonDaze | December 22, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

A lot of people have been saying that TJ students' parents "bought" a competitive advantage for their parents. And they look down on the entire student body for that. I think this is completely unfair. Honestly, there are some students at TJ whose parents buy them a lot, but it's like that at every school. But that doesn't belittle the achievements of every single student at TJ; we work really hard. So LoveIB, yes my parents are well-off, but they did not buy my way into TJ. I worked hard for that. And I'm not going to apologize for my parents having good jobs. They started of with nothing and worked their way up to where they are now, so their kids could have a better life. Do you really think that as parents, they would sit back and say "Oh, a black kid really needs that spot at TJ, I'll just let them have it." No, they would want me to do the best I can. People really need to stop complaining about people with more money having an advantage. It bothers me too if a person doesn't do work and gets by on money, but that's not what TJ is. Instead of criticizing TJ for having intelligent students and not a lot of black or hispanic kids, why don't you try actually improving education standards for people who need them. The problem with affirmative action is that you're lowering standards for people who happen to be a certain race. That's obviously not going to help education standards for that race because people will think that they can get by on their race.

Please stop attacking TJ for their lack of diversity. It's not because we're racist, it's because we actually have fair admissions. This is the one school where race doesn't matter and people actually try to learn. I think there are differences in education between races and classes, but we should try to actually improve education for those who are poor, don't try to ruin it for those who work hard.

P.S. LoveIB- TJ does have students write essays to show their own personality.

Posted by: sj552 | December 23, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Statistically, the proportion of Thomas Jefferson students who are going to be enrolled in their eighth semester of college-level mathematics (Elementary Differential Equations, for most of them) that are white exceeds the number that are Asian. In addition, the vast majority of students enrolled in the post-AP Physics C course called "Computational Physics" are white.

I don't know where you come off saying things about what Asian American students are "inclined" to like. The reason why there are more white kids in these classes is because there are simply more of them. As intellectuals, our interests, goals, and knowledge bases are and have always been developed out of a rigorous inner desire to know, and for some of us, to eventually change the world. Thomas Jefferson has had, for years, one of the strongest Model United Nations clubs in the county, and the coursework available in the humanities is extensive and well-staffed.

There are many students in my class who are god awful at mathematics and all things science-related. They commit themselves to being well-rounded students, taking their humanities courses seriously while barely surviving the elementary physics course. It's the same story for these students, and they wind up being accepted to places like Columbia and Princeton. Moreover, there are plenty of Asian Americans in this group of students.

TJ is not a school that breeds, or solely accepts students that are good for only becoming engineers, theoretical physicists, or applied mathematicians. It's a school that offers these opportunities to people that are smart enough to handle them. It's a place where I can have five doctorates instructing me on a meaningful level.

For the love of God: leave race out of this. It's obnoxious, meaningless, and places you on the same level of crude humorists who rely on exaggerated generalized profiles of ethnicities to communicate faulty points.

Posted by: KBoltzmannT | December 23, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

There are a plethora of problems that I have with your article, Mr. Mathews, but let me just start with the statement that this article had no actual reason to be published.

Admissions statistics for the Classes of 2012-2014 of TJHSST can be found as .pdf files with a simple Google search. I find it hard to believe that it took you a month to do what I did in a few seconds. The question is, why publish this now?

Now, let's be clear. There is no agenda at Jefferson to turn away Hispanic/African-American students. TJ admits students on an academic basis. Would it be good to have some diversity in the school? Yes, of course. But that isn't what the school is created for.

The United Nations defines "racial discrimination" as "any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin". TJ turning applicants away based on their academics is not racial discrimination. However, giving African-American/Hispanic students a DISTINCTION in the application process is utter racial discrimination.

Or perhaps, as some argue, it is socio-economic discrimination? It is true that a large number of TJ students are well-off in the economic sense - but that's no different from the statistics of the rest of the nation. How much money your family has DOES NOT play a role in whether or not you get into TJ. If someone is a good student, it doesn't mean that they're rich, and if someone is rich it certainly doesn't mean that they are necessarily a good student.

Your quip on Asian-Americans and their passion for science/math hits home for me. Going into TJ, I was nearly certain that I wanted to pursue science all four years if I got in. By the end of my sophomore year at TJ, I knew that it wasn't my passion. But I continued to attend nonetheless, because of the opportunities it gives me in all respects.

So please, I ask you refrain from using your baseless stereotypes in these pieces - especially after the last piece you wrote. Hearing the fact that I don't have any character made me just absolutely tear up on the inside.

Oh wait. No, it didn't.


Posted by: turtle1029 | December 23, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I would also just like to add another response to the commenters themselves.

It is utterly ridiculous that you claim that the rich people are the people who have a strong advantage in admissions. Sure, I agree that a lot of the TJ population are more well-off than many others, but that does not mean we don't work our butts off to succeed. I will admit, I took a prep class before applying to TJ, but in all honesty, it did not help me at all.

It was a culmination of my years of hard-work. Everyone I know did not pay their way in. They all worked hard along with me. What you said is totally unfair. I have a friend who said, and I quote:
"so all those years of science and math olympiad
staying after school
taking hard classes
yeah, my parents totally bought me that."

And really, if you pay your way in, as all the commenters note, they will not do well at TJ. In order to succeed at TJ, you have to work hard and as I say, work your freaking butt off. There is no way to pay your way to succeed at TJ. Paying for tutors may help slightly, but the people I know who have tutors are not doing as well as the people who are working hard, achieving, and doing well on their own.

And seriously? Are you claiming that if TJ were to take "character" more into account, less Asians would get in? That's rude. Asians, along with every other race are equal in character. You shouldn't be judging people by race.

This is what makes the college admissions process so unfair. There are people who are obviously more qualified, but did not get into the college of their choice precisely because they were Asian or white. TJ is one of the few places in the US that keeps the integrity of merit-based admissions.

Posted by: equan_3 | December 23, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

This is all very easy to understand when you think about the basic principles of psychometric testing theory coupled with the known IQ differences between ethnoracial groups.

Generally in the USA the average ethnoracial group IQs are: Black = 85, Hispanic = 87, White = 100, and Asian = 106. But in a highly upscale county like Fairfax there is at least an 8 IQ points higher level of average cognitive ability, so in Fairfax county the ethnoracial group average IQ values are more like: Black = 93, Hispanic = 95, White = 108, and Asian = 114.

Now TJ selects about 3.5% of White students. Selecting the top 3.5% is about like taking a sample that is 1.8 Standard Deviations above the mean or about 27 IQ points higher (1.0 SD = 15 IQ points), so then the White mean of 108 plus 27 points higher equals 135. So basically TJ wants students with IQs of about 135 or higher.

Given the Fairfax ethnoracial group mean IQs of Black = 93, Hispanic = 95, White = 108, and Asian = 114; then (use the NORMDIST function of microsoft Excel program to calculate this if you wish) the following percentages of each group would make the cut of IQ = 135:

Black 0.3%
Hispanic 0.4%
White 3.6%
Asian 8.1%

This is pretty close to the actual results of the TJ selection process (i.e. the ratios using the denominator of total numbers entering high school in Fairfax, not just the students who applied to TJ).

So you see it all makes perfect sense once you accept the well known fact that ethnoracial groups differ in their average IQs.

Posted by: rifraf | December 23, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Jay, it's sad to see you descending into this muck again. Why not compare students by how many hours per week they spend studying instead of what color their skin is? Your call to "look for character instead of brains" is insulting. The school should be looking to build the character of its students, not select on it.

LoveIB's comments are even more ignorant- the things you think help admission actually harm it. I know several parents who have taken their kids out of private school and sent them to the local poorly performing intermediate school to improve their chances of admission. The reason kids want to go to TJ is to be with the other smart kids so they can learn faster. Putting "TJ in every school" doesn't accomplish that. It's not the school, which is good, it's being with all high IQ or those that work hard enough to keep up that lets classes move faster.

If you want a real TJ scandal, look into the cheating.

Posted by: staticvars | December 23, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

SAY, how come the black kids score so much lower than the white kids no matter WHAT we do?

HEY:
► Don't ask a question unless you want to know the answer.

See, scientists FOUND that answer less than a decade ago, but it's such a hot potato that they don't talk about except in academic journals.

You won't like it. I

what I'm about to tell you is now uncontroversial among scientists and hasn't been disputed by ANY scientist for years:

Ready?

According to about two dozen recent studies published in many respected, objective, serious, peer-reviewed, academic journals; MRI analyses using standard volumetric medical software have proven conclusively that blacks, everywhere in the world, average 5% smaller brains than whites, and 6% smaller than Asians.

No, it's not the environment. The deficit is seen in embryos just weeks old. It's seen in all countries, and is independent of what the mother eats/drinks/does.

Nor is it body size: Asians (even ones in Indochina who've been half-starved all their lives) have the largest brains and the smallest bodies.

Nutrition? The average deficit in cerebral volume exists in well-fed subjects.

The results have been duplicated many times all over the world at MANY universities measuring thousands of different brains of (well-nourished) people and verified three completely different ways (like brain weight at autopsy).

It is not due any of the other OBVIOUS excuses you want to believe, either. You think those simple explanations didn't occur to university researchers who do statistical analysis for a living? And remember, your story has to explain the cerebral deficit existing in embryos just weeks old in well-fed, non-ghetto families.

If you're curious about how such a horrible thing could be true,the reason is that the first humans were African blacks, and whites/Asians evolved from the ones who left Africa 80,000 years later. The winter freezing allowed only the smart ones to survive.

Say, you think this might explain blacks' average IQ of 80 in America, 70 in Africa, and 60 in Ethiopia? And no, the IQ tests aren't biased either. They're the same internationally-used, culturally-neutral oral tests used all over the world, and all the liberal sociologists say the tests are culturally neutral. (Example: show a square, a triangle, and a circle and ask

So did I get all this from the KKK?

No! From the journal of that Liberal bastion, the American Psychological Association:
http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/PPPL1.pdf

► But YOU WON'T READ IT.

See, even my fellow Liberals (the COWARDLY ones with NO INTEGRITY) won't look through Galileo's telescope if they know they won't like what they'll see!

You non-autistics just go ahead and believe whatever the hell you want to believe. You pretend your lies are true and then attack the Unbelievers.

Y'all make me SICK!

I'm glad I live alone and naked in a cave.

--faye kane homeless brain
http://tinyurl.com/fayescave

Posted by: Knee_Cheese_Zarathustra | December 23, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2010/12/jay-matthews-delivers-breathtaking-news.html

"So, Asians first, whites second, Hispanics third, blacks fourth. What an astonishing result! Who has ever seen that rank ordering before in any competition involving test scores and grades? It's an anomaly!

Of course, no attempt is made to compare this to similar situations, where similar results are achieved. We're only supposed to to talk about Thomas Jefferson HS. What is it about TJHS that leads to such remarkable results? We're simply not supposed to notice any similst pattern elsewhere, and thus preserve our intellectual virginity for thinking about the Virginia school. People who have actually learned things from general patterns are considered unwanted gatecrashers."

Posted by: CharlesMcKay1 | December 23, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Haha I bet Jay Matthew's kids got rejected from TJ, that's why he's hatin. One of my friend's parents doesn't like TJ for the same reason

Posted by: OaktonRules | December 23, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

It's okay Jay, we're all here for you

Posted by: OaktonRules | December 23, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Really the article should be "How many minorities accepted ..." because the vast majority of students admitted to TJ ARE minorities. The definition of minority includes Asians and once that group is included the admitted students are vastly minority. What's the issue here? We just don't like the percentage mix of the different minorities? That seems to be the unidentified issue here.

Posted by: jsjmmurray | December 23, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I am very happy to see so many student comments. Keep them coming. All comments are fair, but I will make a few observations. I have said many times that TJ is a great high school. I believe that. Neither I nor my children ever lived in Northern Va. at high school age, so I have no personal history with the school in that way. I realize my comment about Asian families having greater regard for scholars and scientists will be disputed by some, but it is the result of many years studying Asia (I have a master's in East Asian Regional Studies) and five years living in China. Many of the Asians I know have told me it is true. Many of the American educators I know say the same. And the high percentage of bright Asian American students in math and science careers, when they could just as easily have gone into law or finances, suggests that there is something to this.

Posted by: Jay Mathews | December 23, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

This is one bizarre comment thread and the school you all are talking about sounds like a truly horrible place. Apparently nonstop elitist indoctrination and they can't find time to teach history? Sounds like the ideal curriculum for a job in the military industrial complex. Just do the math son, don't ask any questions. Fortunately, they'll likely get a good education if they actually get into a very selective college.

And I've little doubt the personal characteristics in round two are designed to give historically unrepresented minorities a break. This, however, is a good thing. By any reasonable criteria, Affirmative Action must be one of the greatest government success stories of all time. It's certainly proved that with opportunity comes success. The important question isn't how people with lower test scores get into elite educations, it's how those who get in despite lesser skill at standardized test taking do in those environments and in their careers afterward? And how those with slightly higher scores do when they don't get into their first choice of college? From what I've seen, which is quite a lot, I'd guess that both groups do quite well. And that the former do as well or better than many who had the slightly higher scores on the standardized tests.

The way Affirmative Action is used in college admissions is close to being an everybody wins situation. It's certain that far more people win and far fewer lose than the faux-meritocratic alternative so many put faith in today, and much, much more than in the openly racist alternatives that failed us so badly in the past.

Posted by: mhwebster | December 23, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Knee_Cheese_Zarathustra, yeah, but are there any scientific studies to show how you became such a moron?

Posted by: nuzuw | December 23, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

That's a huge gap between Asians and Whites. Assuming there's no pro-Asian or anti-White discrimination going on, nor bias in decision to apply by race, TJ must have a very high IQ cutoff. In fact, using widely reported means and SDs for different races, and assuming a normal distribution for IQ, in order to get those numbers (22% vs 13%), TJ is using an IQ cutoff well into the 120s. Looking at the curves, this would also mean that Blacks and Hispanics are accepted at much HIGHER rates than their expected IQs would merit.

Posted by: qaz1231 | December 23, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Having lived in Fairfax County for 30 years and observed TJ, I can say without reservation that this school does a wonderful job for what it was designed to do. TJ probably comes closest to fulfilling the vision of Thomas Jefferson who wisely said, "Let us in education dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity”.

I say this as simply an ordinary Fairfax County taxpayer who pays "extra ordinary" property taxes to support an excellent Fairfax County public school system. I have no other connection to TJ.

The only other comment I would make is that Fairfax County would do well to stand up a second high school like TJ in the western part of county. I'm sure there are sufficient highly motivated, high achieving students in Fairfax County to fill two TJs without lowering academic standards.

Posted by: fairfaxvaguy | December 23, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

TJ [the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the most selective secondary school in the country] and its failures of inclusiveness,

"failures of inclusiveness" (!) is how we will disguise student failure we refuse to acknowledge as its opposite; slander of TJ and its ilk be damned!
You are a marvel of Orwellian self-conditioning, Jeanie Meikle, or of decadent intellectual corruption; either way, well done!

Posted by: eladsinned | December 23, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

TJ [the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the most selective secondary school in the country] and its failures of inclusiveness,

"failures of inclusiveness" (!) is how we will disguise student failure we refuse to acknowledge as its opposite; slander of TJ and its ilk be damned!
You are a marvel of Orwellian self-conditioning, Jeanie Meikle, or of decadent intellectual corruption; either way, well done!

Posted by: eladsinned | December 23, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

grades and test scores...?.....huh, we have a problem...grades and test scores are not politically correct.

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | December 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

No one has commented on the fact that there is an equal number of Asians and White applicants even though there're about six times more whites in the system. If whites don't apply they can't get in. Why do folks think Asians apply at six times the rate of whites? Or put it the other way, why do whites apply at 1/6 the rate of Asians?

Posted by: RobertHume | December 23, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Looking at the curves, this would also mean that Blacks and Hispanics are accepted at much HIGHER rates than their expected IQs would merit."

Applicant pools tend to be self selecting. Naturally, this will boost the average IQ for all applicant categories, given that this is an elite science school.

SATs and PISA scores indicate a definite advantage for East Asians over whites, but I'm not sure it's the 5:3 advantage that admissions outcomes at TJ suggest (but it might be). Also, it's well known in elite graduate programs that the star engineer and lab guys are smart, but aren't necessarily the guys with the highest GRE scores. A lot of the expert test takers, particularly Asians, peel off after college to go into clinical medicine or finance rather than into modest paying careers in science and engineering. It would be interesting to see how many TJ grads end up getting a science PhD and become research superstars. Seems to me profiles of those students should be used to tweak the admissions procedures. But then, maybe that's exactly what TJ does.

In any case, I'm sure all the students selected are deserving of this opportunity. And it would be nice if every student, no matter what his level of ability, received an appropriate level of challenge in school. But this won't happen until the public education business admits that there is such a thing as inherited mental ability which sets real upper limits on academic outcomes.

Posted by: greg3 | December 23, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"No one has commented on the fact that there is an equal number of Asians and White applicants even though there're about six times more whites in the system. If whites don't apply they can't get in. Why do folks think Asians apply at six times the rate of whites? Or put it the other way, why do whites apply at 1/6 the rate of Asians?"

Want the truth? Research careers are for chumps. Most smart white kids want to avoid being laid off at 40 and replaced by a 25 year old immigrant.

Posted by: greg3 | December 23, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Jay - Saying that the second round of cuts is based on "personal characteristics" (your words, but I assume a faithful translation of theirs) is a misnomer. What the second round actually consists of is the way for privilege to exert its (self-defined) rightful place.
How are these personal characteristics determined? Are the applicants asked? Of course not. Instead, what are actually considered are written recommendations. And, as you know so well and as you have instructed your readers over the years, the best recommendations have far more to do with the author than the person being recommended. This is why parents place their students at specific schools - they know that the recommendations from that school sway the jury.
Those without such privilege - without the ability to live where they choose to because they can't afford it - have to take whatever they can get. And what they don't get is into TJ.
The FCPS should do away with any and every subjective evaluating criteria for admission to TJ. Even better, it should either do away with TJ or, better yet, create a "TJ" at every FCPS high school. It can be done. But they won't, because that would water down the "accomplishments" of TJ's students and take away the competitive advantage their parents bought for them.
And "bought" is the only way to term what they do.
Posted by: LoveIB | December 22, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse "

loveib, keep your priviledge hate to yourself...
you are the reason no one can stand you or wants to be bothered because your hatred isn't worth the effort...
so shove it...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr Mathews,

These results are exactly what DECADES of testing would lead us to expect.

Gottfredson, L. S. (2005). Implications of cognitive differences for schooling within diverse societies. Pages 517-554 in C. L. Frisby & C. R. Reynolds (Eds.), Comprehensive Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology. New York: Wiley.

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2005cognitivediversity.pdf

Posted by: Bob017 | December 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Live from Los Angeles! When I went to Beverly Hills High School (1981-1985) writing was a key component for academic success! I remember writing 10-30 page term papers at the high school and it helped me in my college years because it takes a lot of discipline and committment to compose an essay. Unfortunately too much is made about math and science as the cornerstone of education because it is sexy! In the corporate world, communication is very important and someone who has the ability to write is more valued than someone who can solve x's and o's!!!

Posted by: big_bors | December 23, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Admissions statistics for the Classes of 2012-2014 of TJHSST can be found as .pdf files with a simple Google search."

lololol. so true. a reporter should know how to use google. just saying

Posted by: avidwpostreader | December 23, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Instead of criticizing TJ and its student body, why don't you start focusing on improving school systems in socioeconomically poorer neighborhoods? Obviously, attacking TJ is not going to do anything. Improving feeder schools would probably be the better strategy.

Posted by: equan_3 | December 23, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"Students strongly interested in math and science have an advantage, officials say, which may explain why Asian Americans -- whose families are more likely to revere science and scholarship -- are the largest ethnic group in the school."

How does this guy constantly get away with these racially bias statements? WaPo consistently lets this guy slide, after countless attacks against Asians.

It's disgraceful!

Posted by: rush_n_crush | December 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

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