Educational Achievement Among Asian Children: Ethnic Differences in First Grade Math and Reading Scores
The burgeoning population of Asian in the U.S. makes it imperative to understand the factors influencing their educational attainment. The pan-ethnic category of “Asian American” overgeneralizes about diverse populations and has led to a monolithic view of Asians as high achieving students with little need for educational services. The model minority myth may be masking the drastic variation in educational attainment among ethnic Asian groups. This study uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K) to: (1) examine whether there are significant achievement gaps between different Asian ethnic groups in first grade and (2) analyze factors that account for the differences in achievement. To determine if ethnicity is a major factor in student achievement, a linear regression model controlling for school and familial factors is conducted. The findings of this study suggest that the model minority myth may not exist and the results add to the growing body of literature underscoring the diversity in academic achievement and needs of Asian students.