For Asians, School Tests Are Vital Steppingstones

Kyle Spencer, New York Times, October 26, 2012


On Saturday, more than 15,000 students are expected to file into classrooms to take a grueling 95-question test for admission to New York City’s elite public high schools. (The exam on Sunday, for about 14,000 students, was postponed until Nov. 18 because of Hurricane Sandy.)

No one will be surprised if Asian students, who make up 14 percent of the city’s public school students, once again win most of the seats, and if black and Hispanic students win few. Last school year, of the 14,415 students enrolled in the eight specialized high schools that require a test for admissions, 8,549 were Asian.

Because of the disparity, some have begun calling for an end to the policy of using the test as the sole basis of admission to the schools, and last month, civil rights groups filed a complaint with the federal government, contending that the policy discriminated against students, many of whom are black or Hispanic, who cannot afford the score-raising tutoring that other students can. {snip}


Almost universally, the Asian students described themselves [in interviews as being] on one edge of a deep cultural chasm.

They cited their parents’ observance of ancient belief systems like Confucianism, a set of moral principles that emphasizes scholarship and reverence for elders, as well as their rejection of child-rearing philosophies more common in the United States that emphasize confidence and general well-being.

Several students said their parents did not shy away from corporal punishment as a means of motivating them. And they said that rigorous testing was generally an accepted practice in their home countries, with the tests viewed not so much as measures of intelligence, but of industriousness.


Complaints about the test and its effect on the racial makeup of the top schools date back at least to the civil rights era. When school officials began openly discussing changing the admissions policy in the early 1970s, white parents persuaded the State Legislature to pass a law cementing the test as the only basis of admission to the specialized high schools. At the time, according to an article in The New York Times in 1971, Stuyvesant High School was mostly white, 10 percent black, 4 percent Puerto Rican or “other Spanish surnamed,” and 6 percent Asian.

This year at Stuyvesant, 72 percent are Asian and less than 4 percent are black or Hispanic.

Melissa Potter, a spokeswoman for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of the groups that filed the complaint with the United States Department of Education in September, said that though some of the city’s poorest Asian immigrants had found their way into these schools, many were still being left out, for the same reason that poor blacks and Hispanics were: they do not have access to the grueling, expensive and time-consuming test preparation for the exam. {snip}

City education officials, as well as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, have rejected the idea that the one-test entry system should be rethought. “You pass the test,” the mayor said last month, “you get the highest score, you get into the school—no matter what your ethnicity, no matter what your economic background is.”

The city began offering a free test-prep program several years ago for black and Hispanic students, but after a legal challenge, other ethnic groups were granted the same access to the course. Today, 43 percent of the students in the program are Asian. {snip}


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  • Puggg

    many of whom are black or Hispanic, who cannot afford the score-raising tutoring that other students can….many were still being left out, for the same reason that poor blacks and
    Hispanics were: they do not have access to the grueling, expensive and
    time-consuming test preparation for the exam

    Interesting from a psychological standpoint, that their minds immediately default to “the other people cheated.”  Projection, perhaps?

    If the test is g-loaded, then preparation is useless.

  • puffdaddy

    “g”-whiz, what a shocker!

  • I love it when diversity starts turning on themselves.

  • 5n4k33y35

    If you prepare, you can improve, and possibly excel. I was playing ping pong with Chinese guys and I learned some improvements to my technique from each of my competitors. As a result, I quickly became more competitive at ping pong and I almost defeated a formidable fellow known as Mr. Zhao.

    These aggrieved racial agitators would rather say that competition is just not fair rather than to prepare for competition. They ought to have a little pride and some dignity. Begrudging hardworking, well prepared competitors for their success is pathetic.

    These complaining racial agitators have something in common with another group of aggrieved agitators. They throw their lot in together with the Feminists, who say there is a pay gap, a glass ceiling, that women have been oppressed and disenfranchised by men throughout history.

    They’re equally pitiful and they’re aligned against white men. Ladies and gentlemen, they are even here among us. Yes, Feminists lurk among us, and each one will deny that they are a Feminist, even while they perpetuate these grievance narratives. Not once have I seen women treated unfairly as a class on this forum, but you will see them here claiming that this is so.

  • It’s ‘always’ our fault.  The blacks, who dispise education, constantly whine racism when they are treated as equals.  They still think everyone owes them a living.

    • Sweet63

       They despise education because they’re not good at it.   

  • I just love it, as usually, blacks and Hispanics complain because they cannot pass the entry test into selective high schools. They complain because that too many Asians are in the school because they get high scores on the test. What they do not realize is that Asian immigrants save their money and will gladly spend that money for prep classes and what is needed to get into the best schools. 

  • It’s funny, an algebra book from 1825 and an Algebra book from 2012 BOTH say that A^2 + B^2 = C^2

  • Golden Rule Macongo Jed

    If non black and non hispanic Diversity, i.e. Asians, can afford something the non productive, unsuccessful sides of Diversity can’t afford, it proves a “disparity” and produces discrimination that the Federal Government must stamp out through hurting the high achieving Asians. Equalization Measures are the weapon.

    (Nobody would dare tell the blacks and hispanics to “try harder,” because that would be blasphemy agaisnt their sacred feelings.)

    White Humanity has been suffering under this Anti White Enforced Inequality for so long, we are happy to see the pain spread to somebody else for once. 

    But most important, when will the J-words be forced to “embrace Diversity” at their private schools, just like the evangelical Christians are now doing to themselves?

    Why are all the White girls walking around with buck nasty kunte kente bantu zulu mau mau voodoo Diversity boyfriends always Anglo Saxon beauties, and not selectively bred Ashkenazis?

  • IKantunderstand

    If only there was a time machine. To be able to go back, and rectify all the wrongs. No slavery of Blacks. Ergo, no Blacks. Maintaining our original immigration policies, ergo, very few Asians. Maintaining also, Eisenhower’s  “Operation Wetback”, and of course, insisting on strenghening the southern border. Voila, super smart Whites could go to Stuyvesant, and the rest could attend decent, safe, public shools. I just love science fiction. Reality blows.

  • JohnEngelman

    Orientals earn their description as “the ideal minority.” The success of Orientals on mental aptitude tests, in school, and professionally refute the arguments of those who argue that the tests are culturally biased in favor of whites. 
    The only legitimate way of evaluating an entrance exam is to determine if it accurately predicts success in the school or not. I am unaware of any evidence that blacks and Hispanics have abilities not measured by the tests which nevertheless make them good students. On the average they do not have different abilities. They have inferior abilities. 

    • Tom_in_Miami

      They drop or flunk out at astonishing rates.  Usually they drop out because they know they are in over their heads.  All they have to do for a passing grade is to go to class.  The professors are reluctant to give them failing grades.

    • The__Bobster

      Yeah, if you call cheating “earning”.

      Asians tend to be harder working, more organized, more conformist, and more devoted to gaming the system. In contrast, white Americans tend to have a touching faith that experts have no doubt devised fair methods for selection, so it wouldn’t be sporting to try to find an edge … an assumption that immigrants find most amusing.

      Carr continues:

      “As for the reason white students are underrepresented in AP classes, it’s probably because access is granted by GPA in most suburban schools. Asians have a better GPA, while not higher competence, than whites, and this keeps whites (particularly boys) from getting into AP classes. Parents can challenge this, but few choose to—because few white parents understand the impact that AP has on GPA.”

      Thus, Asians take three times as many AP Tests as whites per capita. Yet, passing rates on the AP Tests are almost identical, suggesting that whites could take a lot more AP classes if they merely got their acts together.

  • bluffcreek1967

    Many Blacks actually believe that studying is “acting White.” Even Blacks who wouldn’t necessarily put it in those exact terms show, by their example in school, that this is essentially what they believe.

    Whites are naive to think that other races and cultures of people value education to the same degree they do. It just isn’t so.


  • Tom_in_Miami

    Go to the library (as I did) every Saturday night for about two months and count the number of Asians, whites, Latinos, and Blacks.  You will find a preponderance of Asians, some Whites, fewer Hispanics, and practically no Blacks.  That’s not to say there is not a genetic element affecting the students’ success or lack of it, but it does show that groups other than the Asians are not making the best of the raw talent they have.

  • tickyul

    Urban Americans just do not like the drive that asians have. It makes them jealous because they never achieve intellectually what asians do.

    The fact is some people are not very smart, yet through very hard work they can raise their IQ in a certain field(overall IQ, not so much) and become very proficient and accomplished. I think this is what some not-so-gifted people do if they are really driven to learn and achieve.

    I believe that Urban Americans in general value learning the least out of any race in the USA. All of the money in the world and fancy programs will not overcome this fact.

  • 1XXX

    There is a simple truth that must be spoken at every possible opportunity: 

    More blacks = Lower quality of life.

    If blacks and hispanics could somehow reduce the amount of stupid in their blood, this problem would go away.  That’s where they should focus their limited attention.

  • youhavetherighttoremainsilent

    either a mis quote or a typo in this article because it shows bloomturd saying somthing logical

  • youhavetherighttoremainsilent

    if there really is all this racism than why can black excel at music and sports. oh i guess blacks will say the white man just uses them as slaves in those industries. blacks say we whites import guns into their hood so the shoot each other. pathological people no hope

  • xavier

    I’ve interacted with a number of East and South Asians – and discovered that their diligence is propelled more by their love of status than anything else.  Very little sense of “vocation”, “love of learning for its own sake”, or to be a well-rounded individual.  Nothing that I can see beyond “love of money/status”.  Whatever the reasons, the spark of creativity seems lacking.

  • Asians are notorious cheats – anything to get an advantage- all the while- they just smile.

  • 5n4k33y35

    In any nation in which men are conscripted into the military and women are not, women should not be allowed to vote unless they volunteer for national service of some kind. Freedom isn’t free, and voting shouldn’t be free either. Especially not to single mothers who are dependent on government assistance which was not earned.

    If they are the widow of a war veteran, they should not be considered dependents. But if they are dependents, they are useless and lazy, they are costing society. They shouldn’t be allowed to vote themselves more of other people’s money.