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Old 08-10-2013, 01:29 AM
 
Location: Seoul
11,584 posts, read 7,370,476 times
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I noticed from my high school and college that typically almost all of the highest scorers on tests happen to be immigrants. The top 20% of my high school class has only like five natives. The rest were a few immigrants from South Korea, a few immigrants from China, a couple of Egyptian immigrants, then Venezuelan, Russian, and Jamaican immies. In my previous high school legit everyone in the top ten was not born in this country. It's not just Asian immigrants who do this; immigrants from countries like Egypt, Mexico, Trinidad, Colombia, and former Yugoslav states scored really well too.

Is this a cultural divide? Also I realize that rich American natives get scores usually higher than your average poor immigrant, but your average poor immigrant will do way better than an average poor American
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:34 AM
 
8,395 posts, read 7,657,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warszawa View Post
I noticed from my high school and college that typically almost all of the highest scorers on tests happen to be immigrants. The top 20% of my high school class has only like five natives. The rest were a few immigrants from South Korea, a few immigrants from China, a couple of Egyptian immigrants, then Venezuelan, Russian, and Jamaican immies. In my previous high school legit everyone in the top ten was not born in this country. It's not just Asian immigrants who do this; immigrants from countries like Egypt, Mexico, Trinidad, Colombia, and former Yugoslav states scored really well too.

Is this a cultural divide? Also I realize that rich American natives get scores usually higher than your average poor immigrant, but your average poor immigrant will do way better than an average poor American
American schools are way too slow.
In China, for example, fractions are covered in 3rd grade and equations with variables are covered in 6th grade. They have already known the things taught in American schools.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:58 AM
 
10,876 posts, read 12,561,699 times
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Most of the immigrants coming to US colleges on student visas are allowed to do so because of their very high academics.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:02 AM
 
8,395 posts, read 7,657,724 times
Reputation: 3012
Quote:
Originally Posted by TempesT68 View Post
Most of the immigrants coming to US colleges on student visas are allowed to do so because of their very high academics.
Technically, a student visa is not an immigrant visa. They are only allowed to stay in the US during study.

However, some of them found a job afterwards and obtained an H1B visa. A few may marry an American citizen etc.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:01 AM
 
25,058 posts, read 24,789,787 times
Reputation: 11723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
American schools are way too slow.
In China, for example, fractions are covered in 3rd grade and equations with variables are covered in 6th grade. They have already known the things taught in American schools.
Not to mention learning their hugely complex writing system probably helps a lot in training memorization.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,331,044 times
Reputation: 14637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warszawa View Post
I noticed from my high school and college that typically almost all of the highest scorers on tests happen to be immigrants. The top 20% of my high school class has only like five natives. The rest were a few immigrants from South Korea, a few immigrants from China, a couple of Egyptian immigrants, then Venezuelan, Russian, and Jamaican immies. In my previous high school legit everyone in the top ten was not born in this country. It's not just Asian immigrants who do this; immigrants from countries like Egypt, Mexico, Trinidad, Colombia, and former Yugoslav states scored really well too.

Is this a cultural divide? Also I realize that rich American natives get scores usually higher than your average poor immigrant, but your average poor immigrant will do way better than an average poor American
I'm a high school teacher and I can tell you why. They take responsibility for their own learning. If they don't understand something, they get help, they ask the teacher, they stay after school, they get tutoring, they...gasp....STUDY HARDER. If our kids don't understand, they whine that the teacher doesn't know how to teach and mommy and daddy pat them on the head and complain to the principal.

Anyone who wants an education can get a good one in our system. The trick is to want it and work for it. That is why many foreign students have higher grades. They've been raised to see education as something they have to work for.

If a child resists being educated, there is very little I can do to help them. If they sit and blame others rather than open a book when they're stuck, there is little I can do to help them. On the other hand, if they want to learn, there is nothing I can do to stop them. Every year I have kids who learn very little in my class (and I get blamed) but I also have kids who go beyond what the class teaches (I don't get credit for them...when a child fails, it's my fault...when they do well, it's that they are smart kids...).

I doubt there is research out there but I'd bet money that the amount of effort a child is willing to put in to get an education is the number one determinant of outcomes. We'll never do this study because it's taboo to say it's the child's fault if they don't do well. Success/failure cannot be the result of personal effort. Not for our special snowflakes. Failure is due to issues out of the child's hands while success, of course, is due to genetics or upbringing (well, actually, it is but so is failure). When kids fail se blame the teacher/school and our kids know it. OTOH when kids do well, we do not credit the school. We credit the child being smart. For many foreign born students, the family attitude is success or failure are the fault of the student and the student is expected to do what it takes to succeed. It is very cultural. If we had the attitude of Asian parents/students, we'd get the kind of results that I see in Asian students. (There are other cultures that think this way but Asian is almost a sure bet).

Trust me. Teachers see so few students who really want to learn these days that they'll bend over backwards for the ones who do. They are a breath of fresh air and make teaching worth while. When kids are willing to work, teachers are willing to go the extra mile whether they're working for greater understanding of the material or just to pass the class. One of the kids I'll never forget is a young man who busted his but to earn a D- in my class which earned him the right to graduate. IMO, he has more right to be proud of that D- than most of my A students of their A's. He was determined to not let chemistry get the best of him. The material was very difficult for him but he did what he had to to learn enough to pass. I smile whenever I think of him. There is a set of pens in my top drawer he gave me that say "Genius at work". He told me I'm the smartest person he knows, lol. It's funny. My students who work for their grades think I'm a good teacher. The ones who don't don't. Funny how that works.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 08-10-2013 at 06:27 AM..
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,331,044 times
Reputation: 14637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
American schools are way too slow.
In China, for example, fractions are covered in 3rd grade and equations with variables are covered in 6th grade. They have already known the things taught in American schools.
We have to be because kids won't work to keep up if we go faster and it's our fault, not theirs, if they fail.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 32,331,044 times
Reputation: 14637
Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Not to mention learning their hugely complex writing system probably helps a lot in training memorization.
Sarcasm on....

Memorization??? Kids are required to memorize things??? Don't you know that's called "Drill and Kill" here? Why memorize what you can look up on Google? Or punch into a calculator?

Sarcasm off.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Maryland
18,591 posts, read 17,426,354 times
Reputation: 6375
Quote:
Originally Posted by TempesT68 View Post
Most of the immigrants coming to US colleges on student visas are allowed to do so because of their very high academics.
I guess you missed the part of the OP's post that mentioned "high school".
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Maryland
18,591 posts, read 17,426,354 times
Reputation: 6375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I'm a high school teacher and I can tell you why. They take responsibility for their own learning. If they don't understand something, they get help, they ask the teacher, they stay after school, they get tutoring, they...gasp....STUDY HARDER. If our kids don't understand, they whine that the teacher doesn't know how to teach and mommy and daddy pat them on the head and complain to the principal.

Anyone who wants an education can get a good one in our system. The trick is to want it and work for it. That is why many foreign students have higher grades. They've been raised to see education as something they have to work for.

If a child resists being educated, there is very little I can do to help them. If they sit and blame others rather than open a book when they're stuck, there is little I can do to help them. On the other hand, if they want to learn, there is nothing I can do to stop them. Every year I have kids who learn very little in my class (and I get blamed) but I also have kids who go beyond what the class teaches (I don't get credit for them...when a child fails, it's my fault...when they do well, it's that they are smart kids...).

I doubt there is research out there but I'd bet money that the amount of effort a child is willing to put in to get an education is the number one determinant of outcomes. We'll never do this study because it's taboo to say it's the child's fault if they don't do well. Success/failure cannot be the result of personal effort. Not for our special snowflakes. Failure is due to issues out of the child's hands while success, of course, is due to genetics or upbringing (well, actually, it is but so is failure). When kids fail se blame the teacher/school and our kids know it. OTOH when kids do well, we do not credit the school. We credit the child being smart. For many foreign born students, the family attitude is success or failure are the fault of the student and the student is expected to do what it takes to succeed. It is very cultural. If we had the attitude of Asian parents/students, we'd get the kind of results that I see in Asian students. (There are other cultures that think this way but Asian is almost a sure bet).

Trust me. Teachers see so few students who really want to learn these days that they'll bend over backwards for the ones who do. They are a breath of fresh air and make teaching worth while. When kids are willing to work, teachers are willing to go the extra mile whether they're working for greater understanding of the material or just to pass the class. One of the kids I'll never forget is a young man who busted his but to earn a D- in my class which earned him the right to graduate. IMO, he has more right to be proud of that D- than most of my A students of their A's. He was determined to not let chemistry get the best of him. The material was very difficult for him but he did what he had to to learn enough to pass. I smile whenever I think of him. There is a set of pens in my top drawer he gave me that say "Genius at work". He told me I'm the smartest person he knows, lol. It's funny. My students who work for their grades think I'm a good teacher. The ones who don't don't. Funny how that works.
Not exactly what you're looking for but I found this:

Quote:
For example, he said that middle-class black parents in general spent no more time on homework or tracking their children's schooling than poor white parents. And he said that while black students talked in detail about what efforts were needed to get an A and about their desire to achieve, too many nonetheless failed to put forth that effort.

Those kinds of attitudes reflect a long history of adapting to oppression and stymied opportunities, said Professor Ogbu, a Nigerian immigrant who has written that involuntary black immigrants behave like low-status minorities in other societies.
Why Are Black Students Lagging? - New York Times
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