Thursday, June 12, 2008

Asians are suffering in the white establishment, too!

Steve Sailer posted on a story in the NYT about a report on the putative fallacy of perceiving Asians to be the model minority. Half Sigma actually suffered through the report and finds the expected. I've little to add, but want to point out this excerpt from the article:
"Certainly there’s a lot of Asians doing well, at the top of the curve, and that’s a point of pride, but there are just as many struggling at the bottom of the curve, and we wanted to draw attention to that,” said Robert T. Teranishi, the N.Y.U. education professor who wrote the report.
If tautologically true, musn't the Asian mean be identical to the national mean? That, of course, is not the case. What a blatant lie.

Sounds like the strategy is to bring all non-whites into the affirmative action tent. By including Pacific Islanders (categorically separate from Asian even when only five or six race choices are available) who underperform whites with Asians who outperform them, the report is able to give the appearance of more variability than actually exists.

Humorous that the NYU education professor would make the grammatical choice he does. By using "is", he's referring to the group of Asians at the top of the curve as a homogenuous group--"a lot", quite literally. Heterogeneity would've been better insinuated by saying "there are a lot of Asians doing well..." But Teranishi's area of expertise doesn't appear to be related to the rules of English language usage. As this NYU bio makes clear, his business is the race racket in academia, from a uniquely "Asian American and Pacific Islander" (AAPI) post.

Also, are Pacific Islanders in the US generally thought to enjoy the same levels of success as East Asians in the US do? They don't. I am not aware of people tending to assume Hmong and Cambodians in the US enjoy the same levels of success as Chinese and Japanese here do. At least the report does dispel that notion (see page 21), for anyone who actually held it.


Rob said...


Off topic, but I'm sure you'd like to know. I think I've found something besides tomato grading that does not correlate with g.

This is stolen from APH's comment on halfsigma.

From No Excuses, written by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom:

p. 201

...Do black students actually learn more from black teachers? Very few studies of educational achievement have examined the link to the racial identity of teachers, but until very recently, the limited research available yielded a simple conclusions: The race of teachers is irrelevant. For example, Ehrenberg, Goldhaber, and Brewer used the National Education Longitudinal Study sample of eight-graders who were testedin 1988, and then again two years later, and found that a teacher's race ...did "not play an important role" in how much students learned over that span of, Hispanic, and female tenth-grade teachers tended to rate students of their own race or gender more highly than others on a series of questions about their performance and potential. But these more positive feelings about such students did not make any difference in student test scores...

Black teachers on average have lower IQ than white teachers, possibly a larger gap than in the general population, judging from pass/fail differentials on competency tests.

Because race is a proxy for IQ, how well a teacher does his or job does not vary with IQ, at least over the gap between white and black teachers.

Interestingly, the study also showed that white males are the least biased concerning race and gender. It seems that for high school students a) stereotype threat is not real, b) does not affect white males, or c) teachers don't exert it.

Audacious Epigone said...


I was thinking along the same lines when I read HS post from where those comments came. The same might also be extended to students with special education needs, to preschoolers, children being babysat, and the like--where someone with a more modest IQ might be more successful than someone more intelligent who becomes impatient or unfocused due to slow progress. But that might just have to do with temperment, and not be related to IQ, ceteris paribus, in one way or another. This in addition to people of the same racial or ethnic backgrounds who are teachers. I wonder how to measure this on a large scale though?

Peter said...

It's interesting to note that the mean income of Pacific Islanders isn't materially different from that of whites.

While some Asian groups such as Cambodians and Laotians may struggle, my impression is that the big income/SES split in the Asian-American community is not among the different national groups, but between more assimilated people of any group and newly arrived immigrants.

Sleep said...

Now come on people. You're splitting hairs with this "just as many" thing. It's a figure of speech, not intended to be taken literally. But if you insist on taking it literally, then by all means do so ... just remember that the Asians "at the top" and "at the bottom" don't necessarily sum up to 100%, because there's bound to be a lot more in between. And they could have any mean value, and therefore the Asian mean is not necessarily equal to the white mean.

I think the state may even be literally true: Asians are often found at the very top of the income scale, and also at the very bottom. But what Teranishi doesn't want to admit is that this pattern is largely due to the fact that Asia is a large place, and it has both high-IQ and low-IQ nations.

Audacious Epigone said...


Unless he is talking specifically about the 'Asian curve', it is not possible that there are just as many at the top of the curve as there are at the bottom. Now, if most of the Asians above the national mean were way above it, while those below it were just so, then theoretically there could be as many above as below, but he said "top" and "bottom", not "above" and "below". He's lying.

It's not just a white lie. Do you doubt he'd say the same thing about blacks? "True, there are many at the bottom, but there are just as many at the top, and we need to draw attention to that. They're doing as well as everyone else, and thus no special attention is needed." Right...


Probably something to that. Japanese, Filipinos, and Chinese in the US do better than Koreans now, but will that be the case a few decades in the future? I recall a GNXP post on Hmong, who've improved dramatically in thirty years, although they still have higher rates of welfare use and social pathologies than other Asians in the US.

Audacious Epigone said...

Re: Teranishi, if he's not lying he's at least misleading us, and there is reason to assume it is intentional.

Steve Sailer said...

I finally get it: the point of Northeast Asian and South Asian intellectuals arguing so strenuously that Southeast Asian and Pacific Islanders aren't doing all that well is that there aren't very many Southeast Asian or Pacific Islander intellectuals, so, therefore, we must pay northeast Asian and South Asian intellectuals to be their aggrieved leaders for them!