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“Model Minority” Stereotype Obscures Reality of Asian American and Pacific Islander Educational Experience

A Letter to the Editor, printed in The New York Times and written by Wayne Ho, executive director, Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families; W.K. Kellogg Foundation grantee intermediary for Health Through Action; and Ho Luong Tran, president and chief executive, Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum, cites the harm done by the misguided perception of the model minority as it pertains to education.   

The letter was in response to an earlier New York Times article about education issues facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The letter highlights analogous health issues that the article describes from the educational perspective, i.e., model minority stereotyping, lack of understanding of the diversity within the Asian American and Pacific Islander population, especially the vulnerable subgroups, lack of data and misinterpretation of inappropriate data, etc.

The National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education, New York University and the College Board conducted the study and released the report “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—Facts, Not Fiction: Setting the Record Straight,” detailing why false assumptions can lead to misinformed policy and practice that can be harmful to AAPI students.


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