Thursday, October 3, 2013

Asians Master the SAT But Is That Enough for America?

From Asian Week

‘Mandarin Returns Home’ — SAT Scores Climb for Asian Americans

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[My commentary]Asians seem to have an unfair advantage in coming from a confucian culture where they have put top value on getting top test scores since the Mandarine examination days, when test scores for other groups have slowed their pace. Asian test scores have topped whites even with verbals since the 1990s, Check out the entire article at the link above, but here is the somber conclusion: 
Indeed, what’s barely explored, sadly, is the darker narrative, that subterraneous stream that runs parallel to this shining path to academic success. And for those who fail to make the grade, for those who buckled under the academic pressure, there’s often a profound identity crisis that often leads to disappointment, depression, and, in some cases, even suicide.
Besides, the real struggle begins after graduation. For many who did well on tests as students, that same momentum and drive fades when they reached professional life. Then there’s the glass ceiling that barely cracks: for despite enormous change and progress, there’s the persistent view of Asian Americans — preserving ties to their homeland and private cultures — as permanent outsiders.
The reality is that to become real mandarins in America, it takes more than high scores on the SAT.
Andrew Lam is the author of “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora,” “East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres,” and, his latest, “Birds of Paradise Lost,” a collection of story about Vietnamese refugees in the Bay Area, which is now available on Kindle. This piece first appeared on New America Media.

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