The count just keeps growing.
Marshall High School Principal Jeremy Litz just sent parents an email, telling them that “it has come to light that Marshall High School students designated as Commended Students this past fall were notified later than we would have hoped.”
This brings to 17 the number of high schools in Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Prince William County that have admitted to withholding
awards. Many other Fairfax County high schools haven’t yet released the results of their reviews.
An analysis by Fairfax County Times reveals that an estimated 75 percent of National Merit Semifinalists – a notch above Commended Students – are of Asian heritage, validating the questions raised in a new civil rights investigation by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares.
In fact at Marshall High School this fall, 71 percent of National Merit Semifinalists are minority students, with most of them Asian American.
Notably, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced he is introducing legislation to make it mandatory for schools to report National Merit awards to students and parents.
In identical language to other school principals, the Marshall principal posted a message online, saying:
Dear Marshall High School Staff, Students, and Families,
Last month, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) was made aware that there had been a delay in sharing National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognition with students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) designated as Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
As part of a review of our own practices, it has come to light that Marshall High School students designated as Commended Students this past fall were notified later than we would have hoped.
As soon as this was confirmed, Marshall High School notified all impacted families, and staff is contacting colleges where these students have applied to inform them of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation commendations. We are sincerely sorry for this error.
The issue at Marshall High School will now form part of the investigative review by an independent third party into the circumstances surrounding this situation that has already been initiated by FCPS. We are committed to sharing any key findings and any updates to our processes to ensure future consistency in appropriate and timely notification of National Merit
Scholarship Corporation recognitions.
We understand and value the hard work and dedication of each and every student, and the families and staff who support them. Please be assured that we remain resolutely committed to supporting every student in reaching their unique and fullest potential.
Jeffrey Litz, Principal
Marshall High School
The inventory of schools that have admitted to withholding awards now numbers 17 area schools.