Overlooking Asian Underachievers

By Katie Ash — March 31, 2008 1 min read
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We talked last week about how stereotypes of African-American students can encourage them to play down their smarts. This week, I’d like to point your attention to this story in the Chicago Tribune that talks about the inverse of that phenomenon.

The story is about how struggling Asian students are often overlooked because they are a historically high-performing group. Because of this, there aren’t many resources available to help those Asian students who may be having trouble. Part of it is because in most places, Asian students are a fairly small population, and there aren’t many educators fluent in their native language to help them.

The story says that Southeast Asians, whose scores are comparable to Latino and African-American students according to a 2002 U.S. Department of Education study, are particularly hard hit. Their test scores are lumped in with all other Asian students, and consequently that demographic is often overshadowed by higher-performing Asian students.

Education Week‘s Lesli Maxwell did an in-depth article on this topic last year. You can check that out here.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.