Asian kids in NYC schools are for the most part the children of people who were smart enough, brave enough, and determined enough to come to a new country and work fiercely hard for success. They know how fortunate they are to be here because they’ve seen how much worse things are back home; they harbor no resentments about the system mistreating them. They impart these values to their children and make them work hard. This pattern is common among immigrants and their children. I know; I’m the daughter of an immigrant.
Compare and contrast with the situation of inner-city minority kids in this country. Who are their role models? Who is going to be able to motivate them and help them with their homework?
Don’t get me wrong: there are a lot of really involved, determined minority parents who are poor but are trying hard to help their kids succeed.
I think most educators know exactly why and how Asian students are successful. Their lives out of school revolve around family and studying. There are no PS3’s, Nintendo’s, sleep overs, cell phones, Facebooks, or even organized sports. Music, of course, that’s a given - but time away from studying and family - not going to happen.
In one way, this is backfiring on them. Asians are considered Over Represented Minorities for professional schools. My daughter is currently beginning her applications for medical schools and has shown me the data. A URM (Under Represented Minority) needs about a 27/28 MCAT and a 3.25 GPA to pretty much be in the solid running for admission. Whites - a 30 MCAT and a 3.50 GPA. But a ORM? They need a 33 - 35 with a 3.8+ GPA for a good serious look.
Fair or not - it’s just how it is.