Asian Families Got It Goin’ On!

I should know better than to read the NY Times while trying to wind down and drift off to sleep.

In the wee hours of this morning, I read an article in the Times that discussed the success that a high percentage of Asian students have on the exams that qualify them to get into NYC’s best high schools.

Know what freaks me more than just a little? The fact that there is an outcry regarding test bias. WHAT? Just because one particular demographic performs extraordinarily well on an important exam that weeds out the smart from the not-so-smart, the not-so-smart cry foul?

Where is the America that supports hard work, excellence, and achievement instead of crying & whining like a bunch of babies because a large percentage of Asian kids worked harder than their kids did and achieved more than their kids did. Yeah, these are ADULTS getting mad because Asian kids are performing better than their kids are, and as a result, are earning the top spots in NYC’s most elite public high schools.

I’ll let you read the article for yourself.

Or if you don’t want to plow through the entire article, here are some reasons why Asian kids perform so well on their high school entrance exams:

“They cited their parents’ observance of ancient belief systems like Confucianism, a set of moral principles that emphasizes scholarship and reverence for elders, as well as their rejection of child-rearing philosophies more common in the United States that emphasize confidence and general well-being.

Several students said their parents did not shy away from corporal punishment as a means of motivating them. And they said that rigorous testing was generally an accepted practice in their home countries, with the tests viewed not so much as measures of intelligence, but of industriousness.

‘Most of our parents don’t believe in “gifted,”‘ said Riyan Iqbal, 15, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, as he and his friends — of Bengali, Korean and Indian descent — meandered toward the subway from the Bronx High School of Science one recent afternoon. ‘It’s all about hard work.’

No student, they said, was off the hook. Riyan, the son of a taxi driver and a Duane Reade cashier, and his schoolmates said their parents routinely plied them with motivational tales about the trials they endured back home, walking to school barefoot, struggling with hunger, being set back by floods and political unrest. “You try to make up for their hardships,” Riyan said.

The summer after sixth grade, Riyan spent most days at a small storefront “cram school,” memorizing surface area and volume formulas. In seventh grade, he was back there on Saturday and Sundays, unscrambling paragraphs and plowing through reading passages. The classes cost his parents $200 a month.

“I knew my parents would still love me if I didn’t get into Bronx Science,” he said. “But they would be very disappointed.”

Jerome Krase, a professor emeritus in sociology at Brooklyn College, and one of the editors of “Race and Ethnicity in New York City,” said that a growing number of Asian immigrants in recent years had experienced serious adversity in their home countries. “The children hold the honor of the family in their hands,” Professor Krase said. “If they succeed, the family succeeds.”

Yeah, FAMILY MATTERS! EXPECTATIONS set by family are what propel students toward excellence.

According to an article in the Times back in 1971, Stuyvesant High School was mostly white, 10% black, 4% Puerto Rican or other “Spanish-surnamed,” and 6% Asian.

Forty-one years later, in 2012, Stuyvesant High School is 72% Asian. Less than 4% are black or Hispanic. Surely there must be test bias, right? What else could possibly explain this massive surge of Asian success?

I have to applaud Mayor Bloomberg for standing up to the NAACP’s pressure to change the way students are selected for the elite NYC high schools.

“You pass the test,” the mayor said last month, “you get the highest score, you get into the school — no matter what your ethnicity, no matter what your economic background is.”


“The city began offering a free test-prep program several years ago for black and Hispanic students, but after a legal challenge, other ethnic groups were granted the same access to the course. Today, 43 percent of the students in the program are Asian. Three years ago, Ting Shi was one of them.

There goes the NAACP’s argument that only families with money could afford $200 test prep.

One of my favorite quotes from this article: “…the N.A.A.C.P. ought to be pushing parents to get ‘more involved in their children’s education.'”

I applaud Asian families who have expectations and enforce them! It bothers me terribly that others are ANGRY with Asian students for taking up all the spots in the good schools. Wake up, America!

You don’t get somewhere without discipline. Parents are the ones who need to be teaching their children to be disciplined, not tearing down others who ARE disciplined and as a result are rewarded with success.


About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.



Hiya! Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: