Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tiger Mom and the shallowness of American reporting

Yet another article on Asian Americans and education invokes Tiger Mom in an ostensibly unrelated topic; the article mostly discusses http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifthe choices of various college applicants of partial Asian descent when faced with the "Ethnicity" application question.

"Grades and SAT scores = effort therefore Americans are lazy!"

It annoys me that the article doesn't raise any detailed discussion, but rather just repeats applicants' opinions and snappy quotes from Tiger Mom and and leaves it at that.

The Time article linked above does a bit more analysis. But it annoys me that "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua has become the one and only voice on the topic; I suppose it's better than before her book and feature - before Asian Americans were hardly even a topic, despite all the valiant efforts of organizations such as the 80-20 initiative to raise the profile of Asian American issues.

Also, why does no one talk about the utility of these standardized tests? Test scores are not a full evaluation of any educational system, they're just a single marker in a 3-D system. We know that they're not intelligence tests; there are better ways of measuring ability.

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