Asian American education has changed from a time when Asian American children were often not welcome in U.S. public schools to a time when they have become the mythic “model minority.” As in other areas, education has been an arena where Asian Americans have often had to fight for their rights. In addition, their diversity of origins reflects a broad range of educational achievement. This entry looks at the demographic and historical background and current educational attainment of Asian Americans and some research studies focusing on this population.

Historical Background

Asian American education can be divided into three historical periods. In the first (1850–1941), Chinese and Japanese settled mainly along the West Coast and Hawai'i. Between 1882 and 1941, state and federal laws restricted immigration, voting rights, ...

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