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Elite schools' admissions policies pit minorities against each other

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When the country’s top-ranked public high school changed its admissions policy two years ago, it insisted the goal wasn’t to hurt Asian Americans.

Nonetheless, offers of enrollment to Asian American students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in Fairfax County, Va., plummeted from nearly three-quarters of the incoming class down to 54% — a 19-point drop.

In Montgomery County, Md., another premier school system, officials likewise insisted they wanted to help Black and Hispanic students, not punish Asian Americans who made up a disproportionate number of spaces at the county’s selective magnet schools.

But offers of enrollment to Asian American students at Takoma Park Middle School’s STEM Magnet Program slipped from 39% to 31% in 2018, after the county changed its admissions policy. Hispanic and Black students saw big gains, and even White students grabbed a larger share of offers, topping Asians for the first time in

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