MLWGS Response to Style Weekly Article

Many of you may have already read “Maggie Walker’s Diversity Complex,” which appeared as the back-page opinion piece in the August 11th posting of Style Weekly. The article is available on-line at

MLWGS Community Relations Director Hal Waller issued the following statement:

The Style piece makes a number of assertions that deserve clarification:
--The authors claim that MLWGS “serves a student population that is disproportionately white and overwhelmingly privileged.” When taking all minority groups into consideration, non-white students made up over a quarter of the students enrolled in 2008-9. Also, our students come from all socio-economic backgrounds, including students who qualify for and participate in the free lunch program.
--The article suggests that the Regional School Board commissioned the UVA study in recognition of “persistent inequities,” a phrase that appears nowhere in the request for proposals of the study. In 2007, the Board requested “outside expertise to conduct a study to review the effectiveness and equity of the current admissions process.”
--The article refers to an “averaging process” in admissions. The MLWGS admissions process actually uses a composite score from different categories.
-The “formal mentoring program” referred to in the article has been in place for African-American students since 2005. The MLWGS Peer Mentors program has been extremely successful and is modeled after UVA’s peer advisor program.

The complete admissions review report is available at