‘Gold Star For TJ’: Prestigious High School Will Now Mark ‘Honors’ Courses On Transcripts After Pushback

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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A prestigious high school will now be marking honors courses on students’ official transcripts used for college admissions after an education organization revealed the school was failing to do so, according to a school newsletter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

In January, Parents Defending Education (PDE) reported that Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (TJHSST) was failing to note on students’ transcripts which classes were honors classes and carry an additional Grade Point Average weight of 0.5. TJHSST notified parents that transcripts would be altered in the fall to reflect honors and Advanced Placement courses, according to a Wednesday Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) newsletter.

“Great News!  TJ [Thomas Jefferson] Transcripts will be altered after summer 2023 to show all Honors and AP courses–thank you to Dr. Zuluaga in Region 2 for spearheading this change so that all of our TJ students will have their best face shown to any college admissions staff getting transcripts and paperwork from TJ,” the email read. “A huge thank you to a Dranesville parent for her diligent research to help us highlight this issue and to come to this solution.”

The school told PDE in January that the discrepancy is “nuanced” and that it “has received several requests over the years to list Honors on the transcript” but never made a permanent change, according to the organization’s report.

In December 2022, Asra Nomani, a parental rights in education activist, reported that TJHSST had been withholding the National Merit Scholarship commendation, an honor used on college applications to obtain scholarships, from mainly Asian students in order to not “hurt” the feelings of students who did not receive the award. At least 17 northern Virginia schools within Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Prince William County admitted to withholding the award from students as Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares opened an investigation into FCPS regarding the report. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Civil Rights Commissioner Presses Virginia School Board On Alleged Withholding Of Merit Awards)

“Gold star for TJ for finally recognizing the merit of their overachieving student body by acknowledging their honors level courses on their official transcripts,” Carolina Moore, vice president of PDE, told the DCNF. “It’s obnoxious they had to be publicly criticized before they rectified this absurd practice.”

FCPS did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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