Discourse of Asian Americans and education primarily focuses on the high educational and labor force outcomes of Asian Americans relative to blacks and Hispanics (and often whites). While these patterns support the stereotype of Asian Americans as “model minorities,” these images ignore the issue of selection of Asian American immigrants. Explanations of the higher educational attainment of Asian Americans include the following:

  • Selection of immigrants by socioeconomic status
  • Higher levels of achievement and attainment because of differences in cultural orientation toward education
  • Focus of Asian Americans on educational performance because of perceptions that some avenues toward socioeconomic achievement may be closed to them

In the 2010 census, approximately 17.3 million individuals, or 5.6 percent of the U.S. population, reported an Asian ancestry. Among individuals who selected ...

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