Report Criticized for Racial Groupings

A week after the release of a report on the achievement of certain ethnic groups in higher education, some are criticizing the study's separation of Asian Americans from other "minority" groups.

The report, titled "Reaching the Top," was authored by the 31-member National Task Force on Minority High Achievement. The group was established in January 1997 by the College Board to address "the chronically limited presence of African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans among high achieving students at all levels of the educational system."

Since the report's Oct. 17 release, some have focused their complaints not on what the report did say, but on what it did not.


In particular, critics have pointed to the report's focus on the underachievement of African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, but not Asian-Americans. In the report the achievement of the three minority groups is contrasted against the performance of both whites and Asian Americans.

Many in the Asian-American community, including local groups like the Cambodian American League of Lowell, have expressed concern that Asian Americans are no longer considered a disadvantaged minority.

Emily Y. Yang '01, co-president of the Harvard Asian American Association, noted that the group was created in the 1970s when Harvard did not allow two Asian students to participate in a panel on minority issues.

"I think it is very important to recognize the fact that Asian-Americans tend to be forgotten," Yang said.

Many Asian-Americans feel they are the victims of the stereotype that they all have high academic achievement and are well educated, according to Yang.

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