Contrasting the common view of Asian Americans as a uniform, highly achieving "model minority," a report released Thursday found significant educational achievement disparities. California has the largest and most diverse Asian-American community in the nation.
Key findings include:
• Hmong have the largest proportion (45%) in the state with less than a high schooldiploma among all racial/ethnic groups.• About 40% of Cambodians and Laotians have less than a high school diploma, which isdouble the state rate.• Over one fifth of Fijians have less than a high school diploma, which is higher than thestate as a whole.• Pacific Islander students in grades 9-12 have high dropout rates, with about one-fifthestimated to drop out over a four-year period.
The report also found the proportion of Asian American professional educators was less than those enrolled in public school, and that Vietnamese, Koreans, Hmong, Cambodians, Taiwanese, Chinese, and Laotians have double the state rate of limited English proficiency.
Assemblyman Mike Eng, whose district includes Alhambra, introduced the report. He explained that when he took office in 2006, he found lots of resources about education and social achievement of African Americans and Latinos, but very little for Asians. "When I asked for information about the 40 percent that represent my constituents, there was very very little information about the some 48 distinct separate communities that make up the Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian groups," Eng told the South Los Angeles Report.
The University of California Asian American and Pacific Islander Policy Multicampus Research Program produced the report based on information from public and non-profit sources.
“It is my hope that this report provides educators, parents, policy makers and the public with a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the successes and challenges of the AANHPI community in the area of education,” Assemblyman Eng said in a statement. “I believe this report will serve as the first step toward producing a greater body of data in the years to come that expand on the possible solutions to address some of the disparities.”