The Other Side of the Asian American Success Story
In recent years--in the wake of the largest increase in immigration in almost a century--a national debate has developed over the costs and benefits of immigrants. Asian American academic success has emerged at the center of the controversy, as those who wish to avoid the costs of educational reform often point to Asian Americans as evidence that minorities can succeed without special program support. But as WAndy Walker-Moffat shows, the story of Asian American success deflects attention from the very real problems faced by new Asian immigrant groups.In this book Walker-Moffat reveals the bitter contrast between the educational experiences of new Asian immigrant groups and the Asian American success myth. Using the case of the Hmong, a Southeast Asian refugee group that settled across the United States, the author shows how ill-prepared school systems are to educate newcomers.The book describes the well-intentioned but harmful practices that provide immigrants with a separate but unequal education, challenging prevailing motivation theories regarding academic success. Walker-Moffat points out the crucial connections between culture and learning and presents concrete ways in which schools can do a better job of educating all students by drawing on the resources of home and community. By making diversity a strength and not a weakness, says Walker-Moffat, and by improving the links between home and school, we can develop a truly family-based multicultural education.For any educator interested in classroom demographics, multicultural education, and educational policy for immigrant and language-minority students, The Other Side of the Asian American Success Story offers not only new strategies, but a reconsideration of what American public education is, what purposes it serves, and ultimately, who we are as Americans.
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