Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Report finds educational disparities between Asian, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander subgroups

Photo by backonthebus/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A new report reveals wide gaps in the educational achievements of different Asian ethnic groups in California, with big disparities between Asian-American, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.

From a story today by KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez:

For one Asian-American subgroup, the Hmong of Southeast Asia, the idea that all Asians are academic high achievers is a dangerous myth. Nearly half of Hmong adults don’t have a high school diploma.

It’s dangerous, says University of California researcher Lois Takahashi, because the myth keeps the struggles of Hmong families out of the policymaking spotlight. She says statistics about the much larger Samoan, Guamanian and Tongan populations in California are just as troubling.

"One fifth of Pacific Islanders in our grades 9-12 are expected to drop out by grade 12," Takahashi said. "That’s very similar and almost equivalent to the dropout rate for Latinos in the state."


Poverty and English comprehension, especially, factor into the dropout rate.

The University of California report was commissioned by State Assembly member Mike Eng, a Democrat from Monterey Park. The higher education website Diverse has more details.

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