The Myth of Merit: The Fight of the Fairfax County School Board and the New Front of Massive Resistance
49 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1091 (2022).
31 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2023
Date Written: November 01, 2022
This Essay analyzes recent litigation challenging racially neutral school diversity efforts at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia. As the status of diversity efforts at the higher education level are in limbo pending the outcomes of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, litigation being waged against racially neutral diversity programs at the k-12 level is indicative of a "new front" of Massive Resistance. This new front is characterized by challenges to diversity programs backed by conservative organizations with Asian American plaintiffs challenging diversity efforts that promote access to quality education by historically marginalized Black and Latiné students. Many of these claims are predicated on the myth of "merit" undergirded by racist tropes of "underserving" Black and Latiné students. Is public education for everyone? This Essay explores the myth of merit and what the challenge against the Fairfax County School Board signals about the future of access to quality public education.
Keywords: Segregation, school diversity, integration, magnet schools
JEL Classification: I, K
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation