Free Style Headline News

Asian-Americans are Outperforming Other Students and Being Punished For It

Asian-American students are outperforming other students; now some want to change the rules so others aren’t left behind– that has many feeling like Asian-Americans are being punished.

Asian-Americans are often stereotyped to be hardworking, smart, and bad at English. Turns out, two of those things are true.

The New York Post recently came out with an article about how Asians are being punished for being successful. It raised some interesting points; particularly that the United States has fallen behind in academics. It is ranked 34th in mathematics and 27th in science, according to the Pew Research Center. This is based on cross-national test by the Program for International Student Assessment. Among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations which sponsor PISA, the U.S ranks 27th in math and 20th in science.

And yet Asian-Americans continue to excel at tests and school; often outperforming all, including whites. In New York City, according to the New York Post, Asian-American students make up 13% of the student population yet win more than half of the spots at coveted public schools like Bronx Science and Stuyesant.

Asian-American students make 65% of the student population at West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey. They make up 90% of the accelerated math and enriched math studies courses. The district has a competitive instrument music program. In the last three graduating classes, sixteen students were admitted to M.I.T., while also constantly showcasing Science Olympiad winners, classically trained musicians, and students with perfect SAT scores. According to the New York Times, the school district has become popular “bedrock communities for technology entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical researchers and engineers.” Many of the students attending the school district are children of immigrants from countries such as China, Korea, and India and are often the first-born in America.

However, the school district has canceled the accelerated math and enriched math studies courses. The district Superintendent, David Aderhold, has also canceled high school mid-terms and finals. He has made entrance into the instrument music program easier, adding that there is a “right to squeak.” He stresses that he doesn’t want to make the district a Palo Alto where two clusters of teen suicides happened due to academic stress.

Most Asian-American parents have been up in arms against the changes. The New York Times quotes Mike Jia, one of the parents as saying that the reforms are a “dumbing down” of his children’s education. Another parent, Helen Yia, a recent immigrant from China who moved to the U.S to pursue a master’s degree in chemistry, asked “Who could I trust?”

It is true that Asian-Americans often feel pressured to do better. A new study found that Asian-Americans often outperform their white counterparts despite the poverty rates for Chinese and Vietnamese being higher than whites. The students “routinely surpassed the educational attainment of their native-born white peers.”

The writers add that the reason appeared to be a matter of motivation and work ethic.

“Qualities such as attentiveness, self-control, motivation and persistence may be as important as cognitive abilities in positively affecting academic performance,” the authors wrote. “Asian American parents may engage in parenting practices that better cultivate these qualities that, in turn, enable their children’s academic success.”

However, this success comes at a cost. Asian-Americans often have lower self-esteem and don’t have as much social life as white students, the same study found. While they had higher academic achievement, they often have more conflicted relationships with their parents and are less psychologically adjusted and socially engaged. They also found that Asian-American parents are more authoritarian in their parenting styles than white parents.

There is a fine line. While non-Asian parents are up in arms about how their children are being left behind, they should be getting more involved with their children’s education. Most of the Asian-American students are sons and daughters of immigrants and the first born in the United States, yet do better than people whose families have been here for generations. Schools such as Harvard have been accused of adopting policies which limit Asian students. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NAACP want the highest selective high schools to adopt a holistic approach instead of competitive exams. Asian-American students make up the majority of these student bodies and would be discriminated against just because they are good in school if de Blasio gets his wish.

In the end, Asian-Americans are being discriminated against because they are successful in school.

There is a reason why Prop 209 in California, banning affirmative action in public education, was passed. When the Democrats won super-majorities in 2014 one of their first orders of business was to try and overturn Prop 209, which had been successfully defended in court. However, they found that they couldn’t overturn because of staunch opposition from Asian-American groups. Asian-Americans, despite being only being around 10% of the population, are almost a third of the University of California’s student population.

There must be a change in how Americans view school. If we are to become a top competitor in the world once again in fields such as science and math, we must change how our society views education and parents need to be more involved. The answer is not hamstringing students in order to strive for equality. We need to allow bright students to thrive. If poor Asian-American parents can motivate their children to do better in school, then so can Hispanic, black, and white parents.

Related posts

; })();