Asians and Asian-Americans make up 4% of the U.S. population...and 20% of the Ivy League. Now find out how they do it.
The numbers speak for themselves: 18% of Harvard's population; 25% of Columbia's; 42% of Berkeley's; 24% of Stanford's; 25% of Cornell's...
What are Asian parents doing to start their kids on the road to academic excellence at an early age? What can all parents do to help their children ace tests, strive to achieve, and reach educational goals? In this book, two sisters-a doctor and a lawyer whose parents came from South Korea to the U.S. with two hundred dollars in their pockets-reveal the practices that lead Asian-Americans to academic, professional, and personal success.
The authors contend that Asian-Americans are no more intelligent than any other race or ethnic group. They say, "the reason Asian students out-perform their peers in the classroom has nothing to do with how they
Stressing involvement, encouragement, discipline and more involvement, the authors reveal the 17 "secrets" Asian families use to create straight-A-earning, Ivy League-bound children, though some readers may balk at the generalities the book treats as facts. (The opening sentence reads: "Have you ever sat next to an Asian student in class and wondered how she managed to consistently get straight A's while you struggled to maintain a B-minus average?") That said, much of the advice isn't, contrary to the book's title and tone, culture-specific and is just as likely to be overheard at parent-teacher conferences in Dubuque as read about in this book: be enthusiastic when your child asks for help, set goals and reward positive performance. The book employs a we vs. you tact, and many readers will find the implied superiority off-putting or snide. Readers willing to separate the substance from the hollow pomp will find helpful tidbits (extracurricular activities are good, but in moderation) mixed with mercenary exhortations ("Forget the 'Do Whatever Makes You Happy' Mentality"), but wading through the stereotypes might be too much to ask.
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October 31, 2005
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