Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have been widely regarded as success stories in the classroom. But the reality is much more nuanced, as the LA Times reported on Wednesday. According to the Times, students of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese and Korean backgrounds have higher graduation rates at the UC and Cal State Systems. Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and Laotians tend to graduate at lower rates. At Cal State, 66 percent of Chinese American students who enrolled in 2008 completed their degrees within six years, while 39 percent of Laotians did the same.
Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, told the Times that policymakers “must stop treating our community as a monolithic whole.” Some Asian-American civil rights groups argue that the “model minority” myth is not only narrow-minded, but also a detriment when it comes to assessing the needs of students.
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