As any 5-year-old can tell you, if you’re going to tell an implausible fib, swing for the fences and hope somebody believes you, or at least credits your audaciousness.
Fairfax County Public Schools officials took that to heart last week in announcing that they planned to appeal the (excoriating) ruling by a U.S. District Court judge invalidating changes to the admissions process at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology.
The fib came in the press release, where school-system leaders – with a straight face – proclaimed that the policy they were defending to be a “race-neutral” one. Such a pronouncement was belied by the intra-FCPS communications the judge used in his ruling to show that one key point of the change was to lower the percentage of students of Asian heritage offered admission to TJ.
Race was at the very heart of the school system’s rejiggering of the admissions process. School leaders know it, we know it, the judge knew it, we presume the appeals-court judges will know it.
As one outraged parent told School Board members at a recent meeting: “You are the new face of racism.” It had a sting because it seemed awfully close to the truth.