Asian students work to fight stereotypes
What drives today's Asian-American kids
The evidence that Asian-American kids are smart is everywhere.
• For the past three years, these students outscored every other group on the
state's AIMS reading and math tests, slipping behind White students only in high
• They outscored all groups in the SAT college entrance math exam.
• They earned 8 percent of in-state merit scholarships at Arizona State
University last year, although they make up only 2.6 percent of the K-12
Most people form their own theories about why Asian-American students do well.
Some credit their parents' academic focus. Others say these kids are inherently
smart. But the reality is more complicated.
Researchers say Asian-American students are more likely to excel because a
higher proportion come from well-educated families with middle and higher
incomes. Those types of parents have a strong work ethic and high expectations
for their kids.
Their children also may achieve to fight certain stereotypes or live up to other
Angela Le, 20, is the daughter of a former Vietnamese army captain who came to
the U.S. from an Indonesian refugee camp before she was born. She rose to the
top 5 percent of her Glendale Independence High School class.
"My family hammered it into my head that you have to be better than everyone
else," the ASU junior said. "Don't let people think because you're new here, or
a minority, that you cannot make it."