Alfonzo Porter: Commentary Defending Thomas Jefferson High School Poorly Argued and Unacceptable; Sadly Presupposes Permanent Black Inability

The Washington Post had a commentary by Alfonzo Porter (honored as businessman of the year by the National Republican Congressional Committee) that criticizes the NAACP for filing a complaint against Fairfax County Public School system, specifically the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. I have covered Thomas Jefferson on this blog before. Black students are passing the entrance exam but are accepted for admission at a very low level. The NAACP complaint is worth an investigation.

The NAACP alleges “that black and Latino students, as well as students with disabilities, are being shut out of Thomas Jefferson, or TJ, long before they apply in eighth grade because of Fairfax County Public Schools’ systematic failure to identify them for gifted-education programs that begin in elementary school.” Porter unjustly defends the status quo by criticizing Black parents and students.

Porter has a disappointing presupposition that schools like Thomas Jefferson are not for Black children. Porter provided a list of tired, yet enduring, stereotypes that apologize for the status quo (low numbers of Black students at Thomas Jefferson):

  • Black students do not study.
  • Smart Black youth are the exception.
  • Black students only compete for or in athletics
  • Black students cannot academically compete.

It’s sad that these images are still in the culture of the United States, just now it is delivered through the voice of an Alfonzo Porter.


2 thoughts on “Alfonzo Porter: Commentary Defending Thomas Jefferson High School Poorly Argued and Unacceptable; Sadly Presupposes Permanent Black Inability

  1. I appreciate your feedback to my Washington Post column regarding black student performance. I believe that you have egregiously misrepresented the intent of my position. It’s true that I believe that if black student scholastic performance does not merit admittance, they should not be admitted. Who’s job is it to prepare them? If we continue to simply turn our children over to the school “system” and expect that they alone can get your kids into schools like TJ, you are sadly mistaken. Zero to 5 year old education is not the job of the school. With black kids showing up day one to kindergarten already years behind white and Asian kids, they never catch up. Further, the attitudes by too many of our kids do not support academic competition. I didn’t say that they can’t, I said they don’t. Once they wrap their minds around the notion of actully viewing education through a competitive lens, I know that they will be a force to be reckoned with. It should be our number one priority to convince them to take their hard fought freedoms and liberties seriously. For a list of academic competitions for our students view

    Allfonzo Porter


  2. Assuming that this unfortunate, unjust, and unfair idea (that the black students don’t want to study–a gross presumption) is true, that idea leads directly to a conclusion that the status quo of places like Thomas Jefferson, with low black enrollment) is correct.

    However, as I stated in the post, hundreds of black students are passing the test, yet only one handfuls are achieving admittance. Something is not right and there needs to be a thorough investigation.

    These types of investigations should be welcomed and encouraged as they maintain or attempt to guarantee the integrity of Thomas Jefferson’s admissions process–the school is funded with Virginia state taxpayer dollars.


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