Struggling Asians go unnoticed
Poor grades lumped in with standout students
By Azam Ahmed and Darnell Little
March 30, 2008If her native tongue was one commonly spoken in the U.S. instead of the less familiar Khmer, Thana Ouk might have more help at school.
She would have access to classes in her language and programs attuned to her cultural heritage. Her mother, who speaks no English, would be better able to communicate with teachers.
But Thana, a junior at Roosevelt High School, is Cambodian and can find few services tailored to her needs. Instead, she falls under the broad umbrella of "Asian" for public school funding and testing purposes.
Because many families of Asian heritage are well-educated and have comparative material advantages, and because students in the broad Asian category often perform as well as or better than white students on standardized tests, resources are scarce for Asians who are struggling in public schools.
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