Asian Americans, as citizens of the United States, are committed to and compassionate about the shared fate of national prosperity. Under this tenet, we support actions and policies that improve the U.S. education system. AACE dedicates its continuous fight against racial discrimination to the noble cause of securing civil rights for Asian Americans and that of making a better future for this nation in general. Most Asian Americans immigrated here because this is a land of equal opportunity, not bound by race. America shall not depart from this fundamental principle that has helped attract and develop extraordinary talents to build the world’s greatest nation.
AACE’s perspectives on education and college admissions are summarized in the following:
- Asian Americans contribute tremendously to the U.S. education sector: many are educators such as K-12 teachers, college professors and school administrators. Scholars such as Foreed Zakaria, Yukong Zhao and Quanyu have published works to share their unique experiences in promoting the American education. Numerous Asian-American associations (the Houston Chinese Alliance, i.e.) actively engage in philanthropy to help schools in disadvantaged communities.
- Asian Americans care deeply about those struggling with poverty and misfortune: coming from underdeveloped countries, most Asian Americans can relate to the strenuous struggles against all odds to acquire good education.
- Improving K-12 education in disadvantaged communities is the primary route to construct and enhance racially diverse environments in colleges: this can be accomplished through smart resource allocation, education reforms, best parenting practices, and effective civic participation.
- Overall, Asian Americans support initiatives that give reasonable assistance to applicants from disadvantaged families during college admissions. Race-neutral, socioeconomic-based affirmative action is a viable alternative to enhance diversity in universities and colleges, but it shall only be undertaken under these conditions: a) each applicant’s socioeconomic circumstances are objectively assessed; b) the implementation should not override the overarching meritocratic principle; c) positive effects in improving education in disadvantaged communities can be demonstrated as a result.
- We do not support the continuation of race-based affirmative action in college admissions because it is unfair and creates racial tensions. Such an unethical policy disproportionately hurts Asian Americans and is self-defeating. It rewards affluent black and Hispanic applicants at the expense of poorer Asian-American and white applicants. Most beneficiaries, albeit belonging to said racial minorities, come from wealthy or middle-class families, whereas those from impoverished backgrounds don’t usually get the help they need.
As Yukong Zhao puts, “We should treat all students equally based on their merits, and concentrate our efforts on helping the disadvantaged, regardless of their racial backgrounds. Only in this way can we build a racially harmonious society and advance the American education.”