Education

Fighting Stereotypes and Protecting Educational Opportunity

Our children should not be penalized for being Korean American, especially when it comes to their education. Being born a certain race or ethnicity should not diminish one’s opportunities for success. Yet there are troubling signs that in America, for Korean and Asian Americans, our race and ethnicity is being counted against us.

New York’s Specialized High Schools

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, without consulting Asian American leaders or organizations, has proposed eliminating the standardized test that determines admission to the city’s top public high schools, known as the “specialized high schools.” The test is known as the SHSAT, or Specialized High School Admissions Test.

The NYC Department of Education admits that Mayor de Blasio’s proposal will decrease the number of students who speak Korean at home by 75%. Read more below. KAA therefore opposes this proposal. Moreover, we are disappointed by the way the proposal was announced and the way his administration is carrying out the public process.

Learn more about KAA’s views on the New York SHSAT issue by clicking here.

Lawsuit Against Harvard University

A lawsuit has been brought against Harvard University by Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by conservative activist Ed Blum, who opposes affirmative action. KAA does not support Ed Blum’s organization and does not oppose affirmative action. However, the evidence being revealed about the well-known disadvantages of applying to Harvard as an Asian American is very troubling.

It was revealed that Asian Americans were regularly stereotyped by Harvard admissions officers as lacking leadership or “effervescence.” In order to improve geographical diversity, Harvard invited high-achieving students from twenty mostly rural US states to apply for admissions. But students from those states who were Asian American received a letter only if their test scores were higher than everyone else’s.

None of us chooses what ethnicity or race we are born to. No one — of any race — should be systematically disadvantaged when it comes to the most important key to success in America: education.

How you can help

Invest in Korean Americans in Action or its Keep Politics Out fund. Every gift will be matched one to one by a Korean American generous donor up to $100,000. For more information, click here to donate to our “Keep Politics Out” fund by December 31, 2018.

NYC Department of Education Presentation

The slides below, from the NYC Department of Education, show that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal would take away 20% of the seats now earned by Asian students (p. 12) and students who speak Korean at home would be reduced by 75% and Chinese-speaking students by 55% (p. 14).