November 2, 2009

The man can't keep them down

While reviewing the 2008-2209 Pennsylvania state assessments used for NCLB I noticed something that shouldn't surprise regular readers of this blog

Asians utterly dominate at the top of the performance distribution in reading and math.

There are 43 data points for racial subgroup performance for the 11th grade with ninety percent of students scoring proficient or above. This represents roughly the top 2% for school-level break downs.

28 were Asian (65.1%)
11 were white (25.6%)
2 were Hispanic (4.7%)
2 were black (4.7%)

And bear in mind that in many schools there is not sufficient Asian students to trigger NCLB's reporting requirements. Same for Hispanics.

Let's remove the subgroups that come from selective schools, such as magnet schools and other public schools that have admission requirements. This should leave us with only general admissions schools.

We are left with 28 data points.

24 were Asian (85.7%)
3 were white (10.7%)
1 was Hispanic (3.6%)
0 were black (0%)

I don't understand why the man isn't able to keep the Asians down, like he continues to do with blacks and Hispanics. Even more disturbingly, he's keeping whites down as well. But, I thought the man was white. What gives?

If we drop down to the 80% level we have 138 data points. This represents about the top 6% of performance. Here's what we have.

64 were white (46.4%)
59 were Asian (42.8%)
4 were Hispanic (2.9%)
11 were black (8.0%)

By my count there were at least 25 schools in which a white subgroup was reported, but no Asian subgroup. In most, if not all, of those schools Asians would have at least equaled the performance of whites. Hispanics suffer from the same effect due to their low numbers, as do blacks to a lesser extent. Taking all this into account, it's easy to see that Asians once again dominate.

This little exercise is hardly scientific, but it does show how ridiculous the whole racial discrimination as an excuse for poor black and Hispanic subgroup performance really is.

6 comments:

Downes said...

> it does show how ridiculous the whole racial discrimination as an excuse for poor black and Hispanic subgroup performance really is.

That's odd. I don't seem to recall the enslavement of Asians, the creation of an Asian subclass, Asian civil rights marches, and lingering and festering ongoing discrimination against Asians.

But I'm supposed to just forget about that, I guess, and treat all these brown people as thought hey're all the same in their property of 'not being white'.

KDeRosa said...

It's equally odd that I don't seem to recall the enslavement of Hispanics, the creation of an Hispanic subclass, Hispanic civil rights marches, and lingering and festering ongoing discrimination against Hispanics. What's your explanation for their performance? Shouldn't they be performing like East Asians since both groups didn't experience slavery and discrimination like blacks did in the US.

Anonymous said...

Yes I know, Wikipedia but:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Exclusion_Act

Oh, and let us not forget those pesky Japanese internment camps the US set up during WW2. Yep, no systematic discrimination here. Move along please.

LexAequitas said...

I'm sure if blacks and hispanics devoted as much energy into academic performance as Asians they'd do just as well.

Robert Sperry said...

On creating an Asian sub class..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_internment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Exclusion_Act

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_American_history

see Discrimination and California Gold Rush, particularly the last paragraphs.

Clearly not on the scale of the African experience, but perhaps on par with the Hispanic?

Robert Sperry said...

arg anon beat me to it.. that's what I get for keeping a page open and not responding right away~