For the 2013 ACS, the median income for Asian American households was $72,400, while the U.S. median was $51,900. It should be noted that this seemingly higher median for Asian Americans may be misleading, as Asian American households tend to have more members than the median. It should also be noted that there are wide disparities across subgroups, including in areas such as ethnicity and class or socioeconomic status (E. Lai & Arguelles, 2003). For example, in 2013 the median income for Asian Indian households was $100,500, while it was $51,300 for Bangladeshi homes, thus indicating high disparity within the Asian
6 American umbrella, and the South Asian subgroup. The poverty rate for Asian Americans was 12.7%, compared to a national median of 14.5%. Again, however, statistics tell a different story when disaggregated for ethnic groups. For example, 15.4% of Cambodian Americans reported living in poverty in the United States, with a rate of 28% in New York City (CAAAV, 2011). Regarding primary and secondary schools, there are approximately 2.56 million Asian American students in attendance, or about 4% of the total number of K – 12 students in the 2013 ACS. There are about 28,000 Asian American teachers, which is around 1% of the U.S. teaching force, although the number of Asian American teachers continues to decrease, similar to other communities of color (Philip, 2012; Rong & Preissle, 1997). Some 86.6% of the U.S. population over 25-years-old were indicated as having a high school diploma, with Asian Americans slightly less at 86.2%. However, there were significant disparities across ethnic groups, with over 94% of Taiwanese and Japanese Americans having a high school degree, while Laotian and Hmong Americans were under 66%. Language use and needs in education are a bit challenging to determine, as the data are categorized inconsistently. For example, the 2009 National English Language Learner Status data do not distinguish between Asians and Pacific Islanders (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009). Thus, the statistic that holds that 16% of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are English language learners and should therefore be receiving support in schools, although appropriate support has long appeared to be an issue (Olsen, 1997; Redondo, 2008). Appropriate support also appears to be an issue in terms of Asian American special needs students. Similar to many Latina/o and Black students, mislabeling of Asian American students as “special needs” can occur when the issues are more related to language, poverty, racism, parent involvement, inappropriate support, and other factors (J.M. Chang & Liu, 1998; Poon-McBrayer, 2011). As with the two larger communities of color in the United States, Asian American males are much more likely to be placed in special education (over 70%), than females. However, unlike Latina/o and Black student communities, Asian Americans are underrepresented in special education (Lo, 2008), which seems to be more about underreporting than the fulfillment of the Model Minority stereotype of Asian Americans.
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- Spring '20
- Dr Lucy
- Asian American Studies