The 'Asian' Category in MCAS Achievement Gap Tracking: Time for a Change
Asian American Policy Review, Harvard Kennedy School, Vol. 21, pp. 19-27, 2010-11
12 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2011
Date Written: Spring 2011
Data gathered on Asian American students in public school by the Massachusetts Department of Education are aggregated into one general “Asian” category, which may skew the results, both perpetuating an enduring myth and masking any true gaps that may exist for certain Asian American subgroups. As explored in this article, achievement gap tracking for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System is an apt example.
In this article, I posit that this aggregation of many subgroups into one general “Asian” category perpetuates the myth of Asian Americans as a model minority, while downplaying any achievement gap that exists for certain Asian American subgroups. I conclude with a policy recommendation — a call to track information on the Asian American subgroups — to address this concern.
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