Administrators at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (TJ) in Fairfax County, Virginia, failed to make Honors classes notations on the official school transcripts of their students, Parents Defending Education (PDE) has discovered.

PDE noted school officials “are not denoting Honors classes on the official school transcripts of their nearly 2,000 students, and have been failing to accurately list Honors classes on student transcripts for many years.”

The school was established in 1985 as a magnet school for students gifted in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The revelation comes on the heels of Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ (R) announcement he is investigating the withholding of notification of National Merit Scholarship program recognition to high school students in the Fairfield County school district, including those at TJ.

PDE reported:

A TJ administrator told a parent that the reasons for not noting “Honors” on the official transcript was “nuanced” and that the administration “has received several requests over the years to list Honors on the transcript” but has not altered their practices. This purposeful omission is of particular concern for seniors who submit transcripts —their official academic record —when applying to college. When asked why the designation was not included on the official transcript, the TJ administrator said he “had no answer.”

According to the grassroots parental rights organization, copies of transcripts received from parents of other Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) high schools “all properly include Honors, HN or H, on transcripts.”

“This is standard practice at both public and private high schools across the nation,” PDE continued in its report, observing that, at TJ, “[s]tudent transcripts appear to list all Honors classes without any Honors designation, thus hiding how challenging the student’s course load was.”

“The school appears to have no answer for their actions of denying students the course designations they deserve,” the PDE report stated, noting as well that the TJ course catalogue indicates the vast majority of classes offered at the school are Honors classes, denoted with an additional “weighted +0.50.”

However, none of these classes are designated as Honors classes on student transcripts, PDE states.

“The TJ administration owes families answers on when and why this policy change was implemented,” said Nicki Neily, president and founder of PDE. “Unlike the school asserted, this doesn’t seem to be a ‘nuanced’ issue – rather, it appears to be a clear-cut case of a war on merit, particularly in the wake of FCPS’ National Merit commended scholars problem.”

Last week, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) said the failure of high schools in Fairfax County to notify students of their National Merit Scholarship program recognition is due to the district’s “maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs.”

Youngkin rebuked Fairfax County Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for her chief emphasis on equity, i.e., equality of outcomes, and spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on equity consultants who train district staff in the woke trend.

“The reality is that we have a superintendent in Fairfax schools who has explicitly stated that her top objective is equal outcomes for all students, regardless of the price,” Youngkin said.

Miyares has now expanded his investigation after at least 14 schools across northern Virginia were found to have been withholding National Merit Scholarship recognition information from students.

The practice of withholding notification of the awards has spread to Loudoun and Prince William Counties, Fox News reported last week.

The Virginia Star reached out to Thomas Jefferson High School Principal Ann Bonitatibus for comment regarding the reason for the failure to make Honors class notations and is awaiting a response.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]