Damn those Asians. Why can’t they just be ordinary. We wouldn’t have to discriminate against them if they would just chill out, stop studying so much, stop practicing their instruments, stop excelling at so many things. Could their parents just ease up a bit for the sake of harmony.
The elementary school I retired from in 1999 had to quit having spelling bees when a Japanese family (father working in US, so not Japanese American) started winning. To help her kids learn English, mom drilled her first and second graders on the words on the official list to practice for the spelling bee. When her second grader won and the first grader came in second, the handwriting was on the wall. It was clear who was going to win for as long as they were at our school, so we just quit having spelling bees. That solved that problem.
But Asians are getting more than their share of spaces at various elite high schools that use competitive tests to select new students. It’s happening in cities across the country. Do Asian kids just study more? study better? help each other study? get punished for not studying? get rewarded for studying? What’s going on at home?
Or, the question no one can ask, do they have better genes than we do? Could be study habits, could be genes, could be their families have lots of books. I haven’t read much about why this happens, but I know that selective high schools and K-12 gifted programs are having to change their way of doing business to get some more BIPOC kids enrolled. (BIPOC = black, indigenous, people of color. Asians can be included or excluded depending on the circumstances.) Some districts have just ended their gifted programs since they couldn’t find a way to balance the enrollment.
Today, every competitive school and college is having to examine its entrance requirements and change them to help equalize enrollment. I.e. no demographic group can have more or less than their share of the population. We know that colleges enroll “legacy” students who don’t qualify through exams, and that can’t change because those legacy students come from families that contribute big bucks to endowment funds. So that means that other criteria will have to change.
What will this mean for families who have been paying private K-12 schools that are supposed to give their kids a leg up on getting into elite colleges? All that money and no cigar? Lawsuits is my guess.
I wrote a post a year ago about my family’s achievement gap, and how it was never going to be eliminated. I’m at the lower end of the gap, but I’ve had a good life, so don’t get upset on my account. I’m definitely living up to my potential; I’ve never been badgered about that!
The pattern of high-achieving Asian students is fascinating. Some people have even started calling Asians “white-adjacent” because dogma says that white people call all the shots so they will always end up on top. But here is iron-clad evidence that whites are simply not at the top of the academic heap. How did we mess up on such an important element of white power?
If I were a betting person, I’d bet that Asian achievement is due to a combination of genes and culture. I’ve been known to lose a bet, but that’s the way I’d bet today. What do you attribute it to?
Just in case you haven’t been reading all the articles on this topic, here’s a bit of data for you, compliments of Vox 6/14/2018. Don’t you just love the way graphic data makes problems so obvious! Too bad the data can’t fix the problem.