Information Sharing Could Help Institutions Identify and Address Challenges Some Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Students Face

Christina Hentges

U.S. Government Accountability Office
July 2007

This report concludes that not all Asian American and Pacific Islanders become high-performing college students (who knew?). The authors note that while this demographic category does receive a percentage of American college degrees disproportionate to its size (eight percent of degrees for five percent of the nation), various ethnic groups within the category remain disadvantaged, particularly Cambodians, Laotians, and Hmong. The GAO believes the "Asian-achiever" stereotype is actually hurting less-privileged Asian students and recommends that postsecondary institutions share information about recruiting and retaining Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who lag academically. What's more, they think the Secretary of Education should facilitate this sort of collaboration. Missing is any meaningful discussion of the root cause of post-secondary difficulties: poor performance in k-12 classrooms. The report's mission is admirable, but its conclusions are obvious. The country's focus should be on providing high-quality education for all who truly need it, be they Hispanic, Hungarian, Hmong, or Dutch-Irish. Find the study here. 

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