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Model Minority? In St. Paul, Asian-American Test Scores Lag

Public school officials in St. Paul, Minnesota are learning first hand that the “Model Minority” image of Asian Americans indeed is a myth.

According to school records, Asian Americans, the largest racial group in the St. Paul schools have impeccable attendance records and the fewest suspensions. But in the important benchmark of standardized testing, those same students are falling far short compared to the district average.

City data showed Asian American kids are less proficient in math — 38 percent pass the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) vs. 59 percent of Asian American kids statewide, and similarly lag in reading — 29 percent pass MCAs vs. 51 percent of Asian Americans statewide.