Liberals love to blame poor Black and Hispanic performance in American public schools on the lack of school quality, e.g. lack of updated textbooks, no laptops for kids, etc. This has been the standard liberal narrative for decades (I’m an SF liberal myself, btw). But does this assessment match the data? Does it match what students and teachers see every day in American schools? Does it match what we see in society?
No. If either of the following statements were true, Asian and Indian kids would be performing poorly in American public schools as well:
- American public schooling is simply poor altogether, and it’s impossible to do well
- American public school is biased against non-whites, which is why blacks and hispanics do so poorly
But Asian and Indian kids are academically dominating. These students aren’t just outperforming Blacks and Hispanics in the same exact schools, they’re also outperforming White students. Why is that? How are Asians and Indians doing so well in an academic environment that’s supposedly hard to thrive in?
The answer is culture. Some cultures are conducive to academic performance, and others are not. Quite simply, the problem isn’t poor schools, the problem is poor parenting.
One fallback defense against this is often that of socio-economic status, e.g. “Well, this is simply because these high-performing Asians come from rich families, and the Hispanic kids are poor…” But this doesn’t stand up under scrutiny. Here’s a clip from an article in the L.A. Times on this very subject, titled “Trying to Bridge the Grade Divide”.
To begin with, the eight students agreed on a few generalities: Latino and Asian students came mostly from poor and working-class families.
According to a study of census data, 84% of the Asian and Latino families in the neighborhoods around Lincoln High have median annual household incomes below $50,000. And yet the Science Bowl team is 90% Asian, as is the Academic Decathlon team.
I find it highly ironic that liberals claim to be the ones interested in protecting minorities, yet they are the ones championing this horribly destructive narrative of “bias against non-whites” in the academic environment. Most Indians are pretty dark, and yet they graduate high school, attain bachelors degrees, and graduate degrees at higher rates than Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites.
And no, it’s not time to start looking for a pro-Asian or pro-Indian bias. We need to stop looking for ways to avoid unpleasant truths. Some cultures excel at raising children who succeed, and some cultures do not. The longer we choose to avert our eyes from this painful fact, the more harm we do in the name of equality. This simply has to stop. ::
[ Most Students in Big Cities Lag Badly in Basic Science | nytimes.com ]
[ In Elite N.Y. Schools, a Dip in Blacks and Hispanics | nytimes.com ]
[ Socioeconomic Statistics and Demographics | www.asian-nation.org ]
[ Rich, Black, and Flunking | Eastbayexpress ]
[ The Education Gap | NYTimes ]