Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

I Have to Give Them Credit


Most academic “diversity” researchers manipulate their numbers until they say the politically correct thing. Not these guys: They give clean numbers, then pretend the numbers say something they don’t.

Funniest paragraphs in recent memory:

Chinese Americans are not as homogeneous as they are sometimes portrayed — this is particularly apparent in their college-going rates and enrollment patterns — according to a new study from the Asian American Studies Program at University of Maryland at College Park and the Organization of Chinese Americans.

“Some of the popular beliefs about Chinese Americans simply don’t withstand our findings, as you might expect with most stereotypes,” Larry H. Shinegawa, director of the Asian American Studies Program at Maryland and co-author of the study, said in a press release.

More than half — 51.7 percent — of Chinese Americans 25 or older have earned some sort of college degree. This is, proportionally, nearly twice as much as the rest of the U.S. population, 27 percent of whom have a college degree. In contrast, 18.5 percent of Chinese Americans have not graduated from high school, compared to 15.9 percent of the general population.

The high-school-dropout rate might surprise some people, though I can’t tell how many of those folks spent how much time in China before coming to the U.S. — or how many were the children of immigrants, who needed to drop out and work right away to help support the family. Otherwise, this is perfectly in line with the stereotype, as are the results of most social-science investigations of most stereotypes.

I don’t get this, either:

Shinegawa said he expects the number of Chinese Americans with a college degree to decline in the future, considering the high percentage of those without a high school diploma currently. Additionally, he said the college graduation rates for those beyond the first generation will also probably fall as the percentages regress toward the mean of the rest of the U.S. population.

If the current 25-and-older population has a high proportion of both high-school dropouts and college graduates, why would you think it impossible for that to be true of the next generation as well? Also, if different minority groups regressed “toward the mean of the rest of the U.S. population,” wouldn’t America’s longest-resident ethnic groups have comparable means by now?


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