Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

College Board apologizes over ‘racially insensitive’ T-shirt

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

(USAToday) The College Board apologized for a "culturally and racially insensitive" T-shirt and some comments made at its Advanced Placement World History exam grading event last month.

On the front of the shirt are caricatures of Chinese politicians with the words, "Chinese Communist PARTY!!!" On the back is an image of Mao Zedong and text in what critics of the T-shirt call a "chop suey font."

"It hearkens to this history of racist imagery," said Hannah Kim, an assistant professor of history at the University of Delaware and one of the AP exam readers, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.

Kim was one of more than 1,000 college professors and high school teachers who gathered in Salt Lake City in mid-June for a week-long event to read and grade AP World History exams. It's common to have commemorative T-shirts at these grading events, and often these T-shirts are "innocuous," Kim said.

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In Public Schools, White Students Are No Longer the Majority

Monday, July 7th, 2014

(The Atlantic) The 2013-14 school year has drawn to a close in most U.S. school districts, and with it the final period in which white students composed a majority of the nation's K-12 public school population. When schools reopen in August and September, black, Latino, Asian, and Native American students will together make up a narrow majority of the nation's public school students.

The change marks far more than a statistical blip.

Broader demographic trends indicate that the new student majority, a collection of what have long been thought of as minority groups, will grow. In just three years, Latino students alone will make up nearly 28 percent of the nation's student population, predict data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Latino student population growth combined with a slow but steady decline in the number of white children attending public schools will transform the country's schools.

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The tiger mom DOESN’T know best: Researchers find Western parenting methods are just as effective

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

(Daily Mail) Stanford researchers Alyssa Fu and Hazel Markus suggest in a new study, both culture-centric approaches can be effective. 

Motivation, the researchers wrote, is understood to come from within an individual in Western families, while Asian children find strength in parental expectations. 

The bottom line is that children can be motivated either way, they say.

'These findings underscore the importance of understanding cultural variation in how people construe themselves and their relationships to others. 

'While European American parents give their children wings to fly on their own, Asian American parents provide a constant wind beneath their children's wings,' wrote Fu, a doctoral student in psychology and the lead author of the study, and Markus, a professor of psychology.

The debate was sparked in 2011, when Yale law Professor Amy Chua provoked a cultural clash with a Wall Street Journal article, 'Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,' that advocated a strict approach – 'tiger parenting' – common in East Asia.

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Michelle Obama Cites View of Growing Segregation

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

(New York Times) Sixty years after the Supreme Court outlawed “separate but equal” schools for blacks and whites, civil rights advocates say American schools are becoming increasingly segregated, while the first lady, Michelle Obama, lamented that “many young people are going to schools with kids who look just like them.”

“Today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech,” Mrs. Obama told 1,200 graduating high school seniors Friday here in the city that gave rise to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.

In a speech that was part commencement address, part policy pronouncement and part journey into her own past, Mrs. Obama said that Brown’s advances were being reversed. “Many districts in this country have actually pulled back on efforts to integrate their schools, and many communities have become less diverse,” she said, leading to schools that are less diverse.

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Study examines achievement gap between Asian American, white students

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

(Los Angeles Times) A growing achievement gap between Asian American students and their white classmates is due largely to greater work effort and cultural attitudes, not innate cognitive ability, researchers say.

In a study published Monday in the journal PNAS, two sociology professors found that Asian Americans enter school with no clear academic edge over whites, but that an advantage grows over time.

Even if they come from poorer, less educated families, Asian Americans significantly outperform white students by fifth grade, authors wrote.

"What accounts for Asians' greater academic effort than whites?" asked study authors Amy Hsin of Queens College in New York and Yu Xie of the University of Michigan.

"Asian and Asian American youth are harder working because of cultural beliefs that emphasize the strong connection between effort and achievement," the authors wrote. "Studies show that Asian and Asian American students tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that can be developed through effort, whereas white Americans tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that are inborn."

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Are US universities choosing rich Chinese students over Asian Americans?

Monday, May 5th, 2014

(QZ.com) An editorial in the Chinese financial magazine Caixin points out another potential obstacle for Asian Americans trying to get into college: hundreds of thousands of wealthy Chinese students that are flocking to US schools every year.

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American universities, especially elite schools, have been suspected of admitting a disproportionately low number of Asian American students given their high test scores and academic performance. Over the past five to six years, these schools—faced with less private and public funding—have also started depending on international students who pay full tuition to pick up the bill. “Asian Americans now face a double barrier to entry at US universities,” writes the Caixin author Wu Yuci.

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Of this pack of international students, Chinese nationals are leading the charge. As China’s economy has developed, more wealthy families are choosing to send their children to American schools. (The daughter of current Chinese president Xi Jinping attends Harvard under a pseudonym, and the son of deposed Chinese official Bo Xilai attended Columbia and Harvard.)

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Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

(AP) – A state's voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

The 6-2 decision upheld a voter-approved change to the Michigan Constitution that forbids the state's public colleges to take race into account. That change was indeed up to the voters, the ruling said, over one justice's impassioned dissent that accused the court of simply wanting to wish away inequality.

The ruling bolsters similar voter-approved initiatives banning affirmative action in education in California and Washington state. A few other states have adopted laws or issued executive orders to bar race-conscious admissions policies.

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Ole Miss Frat Behind Racist Noose Incident Gets Shut Down

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

(Gawker.com) A fraternity chapter at the University of Mississippi has been shut down after three members hung a noose around the neck of a statue of James Meredith, the university's first-ever black student.

A pre-2003 Georgia state flag, featuring the Confederate battle emblem, was also draped over the statue's face.

After an investigation, Sigma Phi Epsilon has decided to close its Ole Miss chapter, the University said Thursday. The three students responsible, who are all from Georgia, have beenkicked out of the fraternity, CBS News reported.

The school is pursuing disciplinary action against the students, according to an Ole Miss spokesman. The FBI is also investigating.

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New report details racial gap among US children

Friday, April 4th, 2014

(AP) – In every region of America, white and Asian children are far better positioned for success than black, Latino and American Indian children, according to a new report appealing for urgent action to bridge this racial gap.

Titled "Race for Results," the report is being released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which for decades has worked to improve child well-being in the United States.

The foundation also produces annual "Kids Count" reports, with reams of state-specific data, but these generally have not focused on race. The new report tackles the topic head-on, with charts and ratings that convey dramatic racial discrepancies.

At the core of the report is a newly devised index based on 12 indicators measuring a child's success from birth to adulthood. The indicators include reading and math proficiency, high school graduation data, teen birthrates, employment prospects, family income and education levels, and neighborhood poverty levels.

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We need more Asian American kids growing up to be artists, not doctors

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

(Guardian) Americans often measure success by the three M’s: money, Motorola, and Mercedes. Most Chinese immigrant parents, on the other hand, define success as getting straight A’s, graduating from an elite university, pursuing an advanced degree and becoming a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist or engineer.

Could this be why the children of Chinese immigrants are, on average, better educated and wealthier – with higher paying jobs – than the general US population?

Amy Chua (of Tiger Mother fame) and her husband and co-author, Jed Rubenfeld, seem to think so. In their new book, The Triple Packagethey compare differences in educational qualifications, median household income and occupational status to support their claim that certain American groups – including those of Chinese, Jewish, Cuban and Nigerian descent – are more successful than others because they share certain cultural traits: a superiority complex; inferiority; impulse control.

But just because these groups have achieved “success” doesn’t mean that these traits are responsible for it, nor that the high-paying, professional job is even what Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans aspire to achieve.

In our new study of Chinese, Vietnamese and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles, sociologist Min Zhou and I found that Chinese immigrants are not only more educated than the average American – they’re also more highly educated than those they left behind. As highly educated immigrants, Chinese parents define success narrowly; more importantly, they invest their resources in achieving it.

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