Jeff Yang in WSJ Deconstructs “Model Minority” & “New Jews” Stereotypes of Asian Americans

October 30, 2012

The “model minority” myth applied to Asian Americans has been a persistent trope since the phrase’s first use in 1965 by a sociologist in a New York Times column that used it to face off Japanese Americans against African Americans. The not-so-subtle underlying message was, ‘look at this Asian minority, they went through hell during World War II (the imprisonment of more than 110,000 people of Japanese descent in American concentration camp) and faced racism for most a century, yet they work hard, don’t complain and succeed as students and employees.’

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Goodbye, Affirmative Action?

October 24, 2012

Under affirmative action, Kahlenberg says, “univerities assemble classes with fairly wealthy students of all races. As long as universities are allowed to use race in admissions, they are unlikely to pay attention to socioeconomic status. Rather than use race as a proxy for disadvantage, a fair system would give the preference based on disadvantage itself. This way, we add economic diversity alongside racial and ethnic diversity.”

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The Perception Gap

September 19, 2012

Notice the faces. The Asian ones. These “new Jews,” as author Daniel Golden termed them, are on campuses across the country. Making that same comparison, Jonathan Zimmerman in the Chronicle of Higher Education says at one point Jews were up to 12 percent of college student bodies and faculty, yet not even three percent of U.S. population. The suggestion: at six percent of the population, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (or AAPIs) do so well in gaining acceptance into places like Harvard — where they make up 21 percent of the class of 2016 — all is fine when it comes to education in the AAPI community.

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Private College Stoked, Public College Broke

September 17, 2012

We’ve long been proud of our great public universities in the United States. Historically, they’ve been both superb and inexpensive. The University of California system has long represented a pinnacle of scholarship, even as it has helped to make higher education affordable to thousands of Californians. But now UC and other state schools across the nation have been subject to severe cuts, and tuitions have been rising. With fewer resources, state schools now have a tougher time holding their own against elite private universities. In advance of the Zócalo event “Can the Next President Put Public Universities Back On Top?” we asked several education policy mavens for their thoughts on the following question: Will America’s public universities remain competitive with elite private universities in their teaching and research?

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UT affirmative action case divides Asian-Americans

August 19, 2012

On its surface, the case of Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas revolves around whether the school’s consideration of race in admissions led to the rejection of a white student.

But as the case nears the Supreme Court’s fall docket, it is also stirring a debate about the impact of affirmative action policies on Asian-American students and casting a spotlight on the stereotype of Asian-Americans as “the model minority.”

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Color-blind or Just Blind? – The Latest Challenge to Affirmative Action

August 13, 2012

Supporters of affirmative action file their amici briefs today in support of University of Texas (UT)-Austin in Fisher vs UT-Austin, the latest Supreme Court case on race-conscious college admissions. Conservative pundits are quick to point to Asian Americans as a racial minority unfairly disadvantaged by affirmative action, and the mainstream media holds up Asian Americans as the new face of affirmative action opponents. What is at stake for Asian Americans in this national debate?

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MHS Alumna Represents Islanders in Higher Education Summit

July 12, 2012

Gates Millenium scholar Samantha Birmingham-Babauta was scholar representative in the third annual Higher Education Summit held at The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. last month. In an email to Variety, Birmingham-Babauta said, “As a Gates Millennium and Asian Pacific Islander Scholar, I was selected as a scholar representative for the Pacific islands.”

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