Saturday, February 17, 2007

Chinese Out-English the English

Chinese and South Asians outscore the English in England.
Blacks, as in other nations score poorly, but the Gypsy population (a caucasian population) scores worst.

Note - 1994 Seattle tests put Gypsy performance identical to the very high performing white population in that city.

Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:51 pm (PST)
Chinese pupils eclipse all other ethnic groups in English tests

Chinese pupils are best-performing ethnic group with 86% passing national
curriculum tests
Schoolchildren of Indian origin come second with 85% achieving the same
But only 80% of white British pupils manage to reach a similar level in
the assessment

By Richard Garner, Education Editor

Children of Chinese origin have outperformed every other British
group in English by the age of 11, according to an ethnic breakdown
of exam and test results published yesterday.

They have the best results of all ethnic groups in national
curriculum tests at 11 with 86 per cent reaching the required
standard - compared with 80 per cent of white British children. And
these figures include recent Chinese immigrants who do not have
English as a first language.

Their success is carried through to GCSE level where 65.8 per cent
of Chinese-origin pupils obtain five A*- to C-grade passes
including maths and English - under the Department for Education
and Skills' new measure used to rank schools. Pupils of Indian
origin also outperform the white British with a 59.1 per cent pass
rate, compared to 44.3 per cent for white British pupils.

The figures are revealed in an analysis of last year's GCSE and
national curriculum test results for pupils aged seven, 11 and 14.

More than 1,000 Chinese-origin pupils sat the English national
curriculum test for 11-year-olds last year - while 2,200 sat their
GCSEs. Experts say the culture at home for families of Chinese and
Indian origin families puts more emphasis on the importance of

The figures come amid a wave of angst over British children,
prompted by a Unicef report which claimed that the quality of life
for children in Britain was poor. Family relationships were cited
as one of the main factors blighting childhood.

Parents in families of Chinese origin stress the value of homework
- and many children attend special Saturday schools to improve
their performance.

In A-levels, too, Chinese-origin pupils shine. A recent study by
the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Physics revealed
that Chinese males were four times as likely (and Indian males
three times) to achieve three or more science A-levels. The figures
are similar for girls. "Indian and Chinese students show a strong
preference for science at A-level compared to other ethnic groups,"
said the report.

As a result, they are the most likely ethnic groups to choose to
study science subjects in higher education.

"Chinese pupils of mixed white and Asian heritage, Irish and Indian
pupils consistently achieve above the national average across key
stage one [seven to 11-year-olds], key stage two [11 to
14-year-olds] and key stage three [14 to 16-year-olds]," the
analysis concludes.

Yesterday's analysis also shows that girls outperform boys at all
levels in almost every exam - although the gap has narrowed
slightly. "Overall, the difference in attainment of five or more
A*- to C-grade GCSEs or equivalent by gender has dropped slightly
from last year when it was 10.1 percentage points to 9.6 percentage
points in 2006," it says.

But the biggest gender gap is between black Afro-Caribbean boys and
girls - sparking concerns about the performance of black boys in
schools. Fewer than one in four Afro-Caribbean boys (22.7 per cent)
achieve five top-grade GCSE passes compared with 36 per cent of
boys overall.

The breakdown follows an official report from the DfES, which drew
attention to the exclusion rate for black Afro-Caribbean children -
they were three times as likely to be excluded from school as white
youngsters. Their rate of permanent exclusions was four per 10,000
compared with 1.3 for white pupils. Again, Chinese-origin pupils
had the lowest exclusion rate, with 0.2 per cent. The report said:
"Black pupils are disproportionately denied mainstream education
and the life chances that go with it."

The low performance of black Afro-Caribbean boys has prompted
ministers to launch their "Aiming High" project, seeking to improve
their performance by providing them with mentors.

The first independent analysis of the programme indicated that they
had started to close the gap on their white classmates by doing
better than ever in tests for 14-year-olds - traditionally a marker
for how well they will perform at GCSE. However, at that stage,
they had still failed to narrow the gap at GCSE.

Andrew Adonis, the Schools minister, welcomed the findings. "Big
improvements are being made," he said. But he acknowledged that
there were "challenges ahead" for exclusion rates "and the
stereotyping of black children as underachieving, troublesome or
both". The scheme operates in 100 secondary schools across 25 local

The worst performance by an ethnic group came from Gypsy/Roma
pupils, where only 3.9 per cent obtained five top-grade GCSE passes
with maths and English, and travellers of Irish heritage, where the
figure was 11.1 per cent.

The analysis also showed that children from better-off homes
outperformed those pupils who received free school meals: 61 per
cent of those youngsters not in receipt of free school meals
obtained five A*- to C-grade GCSE passes compared with 33 per cent
of those from deprived backgrounds.

Ministers insist that poverty should be no excuse for poor
performance - and point to the success of some inner-city schools
serving deprived communities.

From Beijing to Oxford via Brent

Yinan Wang is an example of the Chinese success story - winning a
place to read material sciences at Corpus Christi College at Oxford
aged just 14.

He won his place just two years after arriving in the UK, barely
able to speak a word of English. He went to one of the UK's largest
comprehensives, Copland Community College in Brent, north-west
London, where he was given English classes.

He was singled out as a specially talented pupil and soon became
fluent in English. Yinan also completed an Open University degree
in maths while at school.

In his A-levels he obtained As in maths, physics and chemistry.

Before attending his comprehensive, he was a pupil at the Number
Eight middle school in Beijing which, according to his former
teacher Andrew Jones - head of chemistry at Copland - is "a mixture
of the Chinese Eton and a top French lyc�e".

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