The Model Minority stereotype of Asian American students is widespread. It suggests Asian Americans (AA) are a homogeneous group and achieve high levels of academic, social, and economic success. Aggregating data on AA students in educational research have perpetuated this stereotype by showing that AA students outperform their racial counterparts. There is growing advocacy to disaggregate data on AA students by racial and ethnic subgroup because achievement gaps are concealed when AA are grouped together. In particular, Southeast Asian subgroups typically have lower levels of academic achievement compared to other AA subgroups and are at risk of being overlooked for supports and opportunities. This study reviews current research on the academic achievement of AA students, historical changes in how AA have been classified, the impact and validity of using aggregated data on AA students, and the ways disaggregated data on AA students have been used. With data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 and Minnesota student assessment data, this study explores: 1) the bimodality/multimodality of math test scores within racial group for Asian, Black, and White students; 2) mean differences in math achievement across Asian subgroups, and 3) the use of an aggregated Asian group compared to disaggregated Asian subgroups to examine math achievement growth during high school across race. Findings are used to provide practical implications for educational researchers, evaluators, policy makers, and decision makers to consider when using disaggregated data.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. 2019. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Frances Lawrenz. 1 computer file (PDF); 193 pages.
Thao Jacobson, Mao.
Asian Americans in Educational Research: The Use of Disaggregated Racial and Ethnic Subgroup Data.
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