Thursday, November 18, 2010

Asian American National Seniors Top NAEP Math ... AND Reading in 2010

The NAEP = National Assessment of Education Progress is the yearly federal test that is suppose to track the progress of American reading and math skills in various grades. I think it's an OK way to compare groups and different years, although I still think it's a huge mistake to set ANY bar that everybody is supposed to master as that allows the creation of a test where everybody is below "average".

Here are some highlights from Education Week: "Even within high-scoring states, however, the report shows significant disparities among subgroups of students. White students in Connecticut, for instance, produced an average reading score of 301, while African-American students’ average in that state was 265. ...Achievement gaps among subgroups didn’t shrink between 2005 to 2009 in either reading or math, even though all racial and ethnic groups and both males and females turned in higher average math scores than they
did in 2005. Progress was more uneven in reading: the only subgroups that made gains in the past four years were white students, males, and Asian-Americans."

Now going into the tables, what I find that they missed is that like on the SAT, Asian verbal skills have risen. Not only are Asians better in math, for the first time in 2009, Asians lead whites in READING. Unfortunately, wherever the numbers are, they will inevitably be used to promote ridiculous education "reforms" based on race / class / gender equity such as the disastrous "whole language" and "whole math" fads of the 1990s/2000s rather than insuring that everybody masters basic skills. These NEAP "advances" are even suspect because the NAEP have been aligned to promote fuzzy math and reading standards.

Data from tables in the report:

There are individual reports by state, with Massachusetts one of the higher scoring states in math. Scores  were 163 vs 152 for national. By race, Asian scored 176 vs 167 for whites, 137/135  for hispanic / black. The report notes 32 pt black, 30 pt hispanic gap, but not the 9 pt Asian advantage which is small but a still significant 1/3 of the minority under-achievement gap.
The NAEP population is large enough that it can be expected to reflect actual population changes just like a census survey:

Percentage of NAEP by race for each year
Year   1992 1994 1998 2002 2005 2009
white    74   75   72   71   67   61
black    15   13   14   12   13   15
hispanic  7    7   10   10   17   17
asian     3    4    4    5    5    6

As nonhispanic whites approach 61 percent, it should not be a surprise that whites will be less than 50 percent at colleges where Asians can be expected to be double their 6 percent national population or more.

Asians about doubled from 3 to 6 percent since 1992. Hispanics more than doubled from 7 to 17, slightly outnumbering blacks. Whites declined from 74 to 61, blacks and native americans (1 percent) have stayed about the same.
reading results: Asians always lagged whites ... until 2009
        92  94  98 *98 *02 *05 *09 
white  297 293 297 297 292 293 296
black  273 265 271 269 267 267 269
hisp   279 270 276 275 273 272 274
asian  290 278 288 287 286 287 298<
nat-am                     279 283
* accomodations (ok to make it easier)

Not surprising that students with higher educated parents had higher scores. Students seem to have more educated parents than adults in general as nearly half graduated from college, only 8 percent have not finished high school.

score pct tested in 12th grade
299 49 Grad from college
287 22 some after high school
276 17 grad high school
269 8 did not finish high school

Now in math, if you actually read the text, you'll find the rare admission that "the average score for Asian / Pacific Islander students was 14 points higher than for White students". Normally it is verboten to mention that ANY group does better than the supposedly imperialist = dominant whites, but there you have it. This table shows that everybody scored higher, but the gaps remained about the same, with blacks at about 24, and hispanic at about 24. That 14 point math gap is more than HALF the size of the white black gap. Again why is it politically correct to proclaim that a 24 point gap is absolutely unacceptable and proof of racism that can easily be erased by affirmative action, yet why in the blazes is a 14 point gap for whites completely OK and not worth noting in any newspaper article? Or why is that if an Asian who points this out can be accused of promoting Asian supremacy?

Year    05  09
white  157 161
black  127 131
hisp   133 138
asian  163 175
nat-am 134 144

Here's how test scores increase with education. The 14 point Asian gap is about the same as between those with parents with some education after high school and those who graduated from college.
164 grad college
150 after hs
142 grad hs
135 did not finish hs

This chart shows how test scores move up with the amount of math taken. Almost everybody, black ,white, whatever takes starting algebra, which is all you really need for a non-math college degree. In 2009, nearly half of students were in precalculus or calculus which is enough for a technical math/science degree.

score 05 - 09
121   8   5 - alg 1
127 12 10 - geometry
143 41 42 = alg 2/trig
166 21 24 + precalculus
189 18 18 = calculus

See Education Week November 18, 2010 "Seniors' Reading and Math NAEP Scores on Rise" By Catherine Gewertz
 and the report at

Crazy Asian American Dad: College Admissions

By Arthur Hu– November 12, 2010(Edit Post)
Posted in: Education, Hu's on First, Internet Media

Here’s my 2010 update on the Crazy Asian American dad schtick, based on the classic Crazy Asian Mother by Erick Liang which is up to nearly 6 million views on Youtube. Even my African American minister preached about Asian parents pushing their kids too far.

Now I’d never put my kids through that, but I could put together something based some college research and people I do know… Hey son, Harvard sent you a 4 page letter and invited you to their information session. And you say they sent an e-mail on the behalf of their Asian community? Funny, I never got into Harvard, though I did see go over to see Yo Yo Ma there. Maybe it was my 1976 essay that the F-14 Tomcat would never be replaced by the F-18 Hornet fighter jet (umm, that’s what the Navy did last year..) An ACT 30 composite puts you … nearly average and a 34 in math is just about the 99th percentile. Holy smokes, I just told you last month your SAT scores would never get you into MIT, but taking this other test improved your chances from impossible to merely highly unlikely.

But a 25 in reading is BARELY in the top QUARTER! Do you think that’s really good enough for Harvard? American born Asians beat everybody in reading, but what happened to you? Yeah, it’s nice you’re the star worship drummer, lead, sound and powerpoint, put together a band for graduation and got yourself into a FBLA trip to Nashville, got the model tennis player award and nailed a “1″ in the cello solo. Cousin Jack had higher scores, state music and state athletic awards, most popular student, and he STILL got turned down by Stanford. That Zeng kid with perfect ACT scores, his name came up every 90 seconds at the awards ceremony but ended up at U Chicago, nice but not Harvard.

Your Yeh-yeh walked halfway across China to college and your grandma walked to kindergarten dodging Japanese bombs. Yeh Yeh arrived too late for his first classes but he still aced the finals. Grandma barely caught the last plane out of Shanghai before Mao took over. Yeh Yeh got himself a graduate scholarship at USC where he shook hands with JFK (but he voted for Nixon) I was one of TWO babies Grandma raised before she finished her chemistry degree at Immaculate Heart. Uncle Jason got written up in Readers Digest and got a full scholarship to Boston University. Your mother escaped from Vietnam in a sinking boat looking out for pirates, and grew bean sprouts to sell at the camp. She paid her own way through U Mass and supported her younger brother and sister on restaurant tips for THIS?

You guys have sooo many any Asian classmates, but we were practically the only Chinese in Renton before they put up the Great Wall Mall. Go to the hallway and look again at that newspaper picture of the 7 us as kids where everybody played violin. Yeah, blame us for that whole Model Minority story. I had to walk a mile in the rain and frost to school taunted by kids who called us Japs or worse. We all played in the Seattle Youth Symphony and got into MIT or Stanford or both, and I was concertmaster and MIT’s first right wing columnist long before Rush or Fox news. Now your cousin is a swimming star at Stevens and his pal got into the Naval AND the Air Force academy. Linda got flown out to Wellesley AND Whitman for free tours, where’s YOUR tickets? (ok so nobody else we even heard of on the entire internet ever got even one ticket…) Her parents from Vietnam never even went to college. Do you think Amy Tan makes this stuff up?

Your departed Yeh yeh made promise you wouldn’t end up at some public school like the University of Washington. Yes, they rank #16 in the world now, and we have friends who moved to Seattle from Texas and Kansas for the U-dub, but even they turned down that kid that ended up at community college when they turned him down even with perfectly decent scores and grades and it’s as hard to get into computer science as Brown. There’s always Santa Clara University which is a great country-club Stanford-alike, and Tufts for Harvard, and Worcester Polytechnic for MIT. Now that Coast Guard Academy trains you to play with big toys with guns and they ALMOST never get hurt. When I applied for college they didn’t have that NSA scholarship that pays 4 years at any college (those are the “No Such Agency” guys who tapped into bin Laden’s satellite phone). The CIA also has a full scholarship program which might actually give Asians a minority break if you don’t mind being a spook and not telling anybody who you’ll work for.

If I weren’t American born, your fanny would be soooo sore now. You’re going to have to take that SAT again. I’m taking out your bedroom DVR, Sprint internet and text message plan. I don’t care if they give you 4 hours of homework now. They’ve raised the bar and times have changed. Now go out, have fun, and remember that no matter where you end up …. WE’RE REALLY PROUD OF YOU!

Why does everybody think only Asians are better at math?

Why does everybody think only Asians are better at math?

By Arthur Hu– November 19, 2010 for AsianWeek at
Posted in: Education, Hu's on First, In the Classroom

A teacher ponders the stereotype that Asians are better at math, and the despair that everybody else from whites on down are disadvantaged. He’s not far from my analysis that whatever else might be going on, many of the Asian immigrants like my family were the selected top of their populations and even American minorities are expected to graduate with math up to or beyond algebra when many peasants in Asia, especially girls have little education beyond elementary school. It really burns me up when people cry “THE ASIANS ARE COMING THE ASIANS ARE COMING” and then sell clueless administrators on awful multicultural no-math mathematics that emphasizes hiring more minority teachers and putting in more names and pictures of people of various colors than usable explanations of how to add fractions. That only insures they’ll get run over by hyper-studying orientals and be dependent on government programs and quotas that try to legislate a phony equality instead of competing on equal terms with Asians who are themselves (hopefully) assimilating towards laid-back American norms.

This was originally published August 31, 2010, on and I saw it on the education watchdog Betrayed blog. Reprinted here with permission from author Nick Diaz, and John Ashbury, editor and publisher of

Originally titled Ethnicity, Racism and Math…

by Nick Diaz

In early 2009, I was coaching the MATHCOUNTS competition team at The Barnesville School, then my place of employment. MATHCOUNTS is a nationwide system of mathematics competitions, open to middle schools students in the USA.

Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, in public, private, and home schools are eligible to participate. From 1986 through 2009, I coached the math teams at Gov. Thomas Johnson Middle School in Frederick, Middletown Middle, and at Barnesville.

As the four Barnesville eighth graders were getting ready for the upcoming state competition, one of my “mathletes” mentioned that our team didn’t have much of a chance of placing high, because, after all, we didn’t have Asian students on our team. After all, Asian students from China, India, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan are inherently good at math, and better than anyone else.

The stereotyping of Asian students goes on, unabated, throughout our society. I consider this to be as racist an attitude as outright negative discrimination based on skin color and cultural differences.

The general attitude is that Asians are good at math because they’re smarter, can learn math much faster, know “stuff” more deeply, and are much quicker at arriving at answers. Finally, Asian students are good at math because, after all, they’re Asian.

Not only children, but also adults, share this bigoted view of the world; this is unfortunate, since two evils emanate from such attitude:

It allows people to believe that scholarly achievement, particularly in mathematics and science, is determined by genes and by ethnic extraction. This is not so; academic achievement is due to hard work and dedication, to focusing on the importance of learning for its own sake, and on being willing to practice, practice, practice…

It gives those of us who are not of Asian extraction the excuse not to perform at a high level in mathematics, science, engineering, or other similar pursuits. After all, Asians are automatically better, so why try?

It occurred to me then that my Barnesville team members deserved an explanation that was based on general mathematical principles. So, I get up on my high horse and began telling my young students to stop the racist talk and bigoted excuses.

If we would take a cross-section of the population of China, India, Korea, or Japan, I bet we could find dumb people, average people, and smart people, all in about the same ratio as ours in North America. Thinking that Chinese are better at math, and that Indians are better engineers – that smacks of racism, pure and simple, and denies a basic American conviction – that people are people, regardless of nationality or skin color.

So, why is it that so many Asians in North America do so well in math, science, and engineering?

Simple! Who comes here to live, either permanently or temporarily from China, Korea, India, etc? Mathematicians, engineers, scientists – at the graduate degree level or higher. These are the people who are even allowed to leave China and study and/or work in North America. The general population doesn’t come here – they stay there. Those who arrive here are the physicians, the theoretical physicists, the mathematicians, the engineers, the chemists, the computer scientists, the microbiologists.

These people usually arrive in North America with families. Guess what their kids will be like! Highly intelligent, well-disciplined, focused on learning, from families where learning is considered a sacred duty, and where math and science achievement is considered to be due not to raw intelligence, but to hard work and dedication.

Where are these people concentrated? In Montgomery and Fairfax Counties, suburbs of DC, where many think tanks and research facilities abound. That explains why Takoma Park Middle School in Montgomery County has won the state MATHCOUNTS competition every year since 1986. TPMS is a math/science magnet school in a highly populated area; the staff at Takoma Park and Montgomery County schools can choose who’s in and who’s out. As one can expect, on any given year, their top team of four students will consist of Chinese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, or American Jewish extraction.

What that means is that we, in general, must get rid of the stereotypical thinking that allows us to justify our obvious inferiority in math and science achievement, and blow it off as “Americans are dumber than Asians because they just ARE!” It’s particularly sad when adults, including parents, subscribe to the nonsense and keep spouting that racist line.

This year one of my eighth graders is a Korean exchange student, a very quiet, reserved girl. After one week of school, I can tell there’s something special about her. Despite the obvious language difficulty, she reads the questions carefully, engages her brain, and answers the questions. Reading and thinking properly, quickly, and accurately are the keys to success in mathematics, regardless of the student’s grade level. To be blunt, this Asian student runs circles around the rest of her classmates.

Why is that? Surely because she’s Asian – that’s what many people would say. Perhaps it could be also that she is more used to focusing, and therefore is able to recall the mathematical principles that all the 8th graders had learned in past years, (to be forgotten quickly and decisively), and put them all together and applied properly. Perhaps her parents insist that she do her best, rather than dismiss their children’s poor achievement in math by saying silly things like, “Oh, I was never that good in math,” or “My child just doesn’t have a mind for math” or “Asians are better at math anyway…”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teacher ponders why everybody thinks (only) Asians are good at math

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ethnicity, Racism and Math…

by Nick Diaz

(Originally published August 31, 2010, on

Republished on the Betrayed blog with permission from author Nick Diaz,,

and from John Ashbury, editor and publisher of

In early 2009, I was coaching the MATHCOUNTS competition team at The Barnesville School, then my place of employment. MATHCOUNTS is a nationwide system of mathematics competitions, open to middle schools students in the USA.

Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, in public, private, and home schools are eligible to participate. From 1986 through 2009, I coached the math teams at Gov. Thomas Johnson Middle School in Frederick, Middletown Middle, and at Barnesville.

As the four Barnesville eighth graders were getting ready for the upcoming state competition, one of my “mathletes” mentioned that our team didn’t have much of a chance of placing high, because, after all, we didn’t have Asian students on our team. After all, Asian students from China, India, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan are inherently good at math, and better than anyone else.

continued at link above....

The stereotyping of Asian students goes on, unabated, throughout our society. I consider this to be as racist an attitude as outright negative discrimination based on skin color and cultural differences.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finally Seattle has a giant Filipino Supermarket at Southcenter

Giant Japanese Uwajimaya, Chinese 99 , Vietnamese Viet-Wah and Korean H-mart and now.... Filipino

At the old Mervyns in Southcenter in Tukwila near Renton.
Haven't seen it yet, but here's a great review with photos, my dentist says it's very good.

Southcenter has a hit with Filipino, Asian food

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Gender Equity Nonsens: Title IX Complaints Filed Against NYC, Chicago Districts

They didn't even talk to the districts to see what was going on, more quota pushing in the name of gender "equity".
Title IX Complaints Filed Against NYC, Chicago Districts

Friday, November 05, 2010

2010 Mid-term Election Exit Polls show Asians are still leaning Democratic

Asians split 56 to 40 favoring Democrats since 1994

The results are in, and it’s fair to say that if there was ever a good time to declare the Obama presidency a resounding disaster, the American voters are almost there. Now for the usual Asian Week / Arthur Hu exclusive analysis-with-Asians, I suspected before that Asians are still leaning Democrat, but it’s closer to an even split than the 90 or 60/40 split of blacks or Hispanics. I thought Asians might be moving towards the GOP again, but they haven’t moved any close than whites have.  Here’s a sequence I got from reading the New York Times exit poll series:
Asians evolve towards Democrats since 1992

1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2008 2010
50% 42% 45% 43% 44% 40% 46% 38%
49% 54% 43% 56% 59% 66% 67% 56%
-1% 12% -2% 13% 15% 26% 21% 18%
Asians about = to white in 1992 (within 1%), up 15-25% 1998 to 2010.

Asians in 2010 slightly democratic 56% to 40% , vs blacks 90% hispanic 65% democratic.

In 1992, both whites and Asians were split about 50/50. By 1994, they were 12%  farther into the Democrat columns, and 26% farther by 2002. In 2010 house elections, it’s 56 to 40.
The other thing I did was rank all of the various breakdown groups, and rank by who is the most Democrat.
Asians rank 11th out of 33 groups 56/40. Whites rank 5th most republican
New York Times Nov 2010 Exit Polls ranked by Democratic support
Source: N=New York Times C=CNN

src Demo Repub Change
Black n 90% 9% 7%
Liberal n 80% 8% -4%
Non-whites (22%) c 75% 23%
Gay/LGBT (CNN) c 68% 31% 0%
Hispanic n 65% 33% 8%
White – Other Religion (5%)
c 65% 34%
White – No Religion (9%) c 63% 36%
Not a high school graduate n 60% 36% 14%
Union in household (CNN) c 60% 38% 0%
Less than $30,000 n 57% 40% 19%
Asian n 56% 40% 18%
Asian (1%) C 56% 40%
18-29 n 56% 40% 14%
Post graduate n 52% 46% 8%
$30,000 to $49,999 n 51% 46% 13%
Women n 49% 48% 13%
First-time voter n 49% 45% 0%
30-44 n 47% 50% 13%
High school graduate n 46% 52% 18%
45-64* n 46% 52% 10%
Moderate n 45% 42% 10%
Some college education n 44% 53% 17%
More than $50,000 n 43% 55% 14%
Men n 42% 55% 19%
College graduate n 42% 56% 16%
65 and older* n 40% 58% 22%
More than $100,000 n 40% 58% 16%
White Catholic  (19%) c 39% 59%
Weekly religious services
c 39% 60%
n 38% 60% 14%
White Protestant (44%) c 29% 69%
Evangelical Born-Again c 20% 78%
Conservative n 14% 84% 16%
Tea Party Support n 11% 86% 0%
Predictably, the highest groups are the African Americans, followed by liberals, non-whites, gays, Hispanics, and the non-religious. Every group except liberals moved away from the Democrats.  Asians (who were only about 1% of the CNN sample vs 5 or 6 percent of population) were split  56 to 40, which is short of the 2:1 or higher ratio of the other most liberal groups, and about 11 out of 33 groups ranked. The most republican are the tea party supporters, conservatives and evangelical, of which I’m pretty much a member of all 3.
The other conservative news of note is that the only Asian American pundits getting much attention these days are the conservative ones. Filipina-Am Michelle Malkin was recognized by Investor’s Business Daily in “Political Blogs Rise as Trusted Sources” for #2, which she started, and her own #4 blog who doesn’t yet have her own TV or radio show, but shows up Fox and bestselling book lists. She’s even had a liberal “worst person in the world” award named after her.
Indian-Am Dinesh D’Souza who quoted me in footnotes in his affirmative action books in the 90s was featured on Glenn Beck’s television program explaining his new book The Roots of Obama’s Rage. Predictably, the book has been called “outrageous” by liberal critics. I met him speaking in the Seattle area at Cedar Park Church. His basic beef is that while people are attacking Obama for a fake birth certificate, being a socialist or muslim, none of which he believes, he believes he has solved the puzzle by declaring Obama to be a …. anti-colonialist. Thus Britain’s Churchill, who is a good guy to nearly all Americans comes off as a hated imperialist, and that explains why he expelled Churchill’s bust from US territory (it’s currently at the UK embassy which is technically on british terrirory).  I’ve seen the book featured prominently in liberal Seattle bookstores, so check it out.
By Arthur Hu for Asian Week Nov 5, 2010