Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Indian Americans lead all in income, education: Survey

Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the US with Indian Americans leading them all in their levels of income and education, according to a new survey.

Seven in 10 Indian-American adults ages 25 and older have a college degree, compared with about half of Americans of Korean, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese ancestry, and about a quarter of Vietnamese Americans, according to the Pew Research Centre report released Tuesday.

Indians also have the highest median household income of $88,000 among the largest Asian-American groups. Asians as a whole have a median household income of $66,000 compared with the US median of $49,800.

On the other side of the socio-economic ledger, Americans with Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and 'other US Asian' origins have a higher poverty rate than does the US general public, while those with Indian, Japanese and Filipino origins have lower rates, the survey of six major Asian groups found.

Their geographic settlement patterns also differ. More than seven in 10 Japanese and two-thirds of Filipinos live in the West, compared with fewer than half of Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans, and only about a quarter of Indians.

There are sub-group differences in social and cultural realms as well. Japanese and Filipino Americans are the most accepting of interracial and intergroup marriage; Koreans, Vietnamese and Indians are less comfortable.

Their pathways into the US are different, the Pew survey found. About half of all Korean and Indian immigrants who received green cards in 2011 got them on the basis of employer sponsorship, compared with about a third of Japanese, a fifth of Chinese, one-in-eight Filipinos and just one percent of Vietnamese.

Compared with the general public, Asian Americans are more likely to support an activist government and less likely to identify as Republicans, according to the Pew report.

Indian Americans are the most heavily Democratic Asian subgroup (65 percent), while Filipino Americans and Vietnamese Americans are the most evenly split between the two parties.

President Barack Obama gets higher ratings from Asian Americans than from the general public: 54 percent approve of the way he is handling his job compared with 44 percent of the general public, the survey found.


British school coverup

This has happened beore.  They don't want anybody to know how out of control the schools are

The outraged parents of a young boy held at knife-point in his school playground were only told about the attack two weeks later by the attacker's mother.

Sean Skinner, 10, was assaulted by another pupil who held a penknife to his throat at Brooklands Primary School in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, on May 31.

But Sean’s parents Stephen and Sally Skinner were not informed about the incident until a fortnight later, and then only when they received a phone call from the mother of the pupil who had threatened their son to apologise.

Mr Skinner, 43, said it was 'diabolical' that the school had not told him what had happened.

He said: 'I was stunned when we were called by the mother of the child who had the knife.  'I checked with my son about what had gone on and when he told me about it I got in touch with the school.  'It was two weeks after the incident that we finally heard about it.'

Headteacher Shaun Thorpe has now made a formal apology to Sean’s parents for leaving them in the dark.  They were not told about about the knife incident - which is now being investigated - until June 11.

Mr Skinner said: 'The mother could not have been more apologetic and told us she fully supported any action we wanted to take.'

Sean is in year five at Brooklands Primary School, which has a 'good' rating from government inspection body OFSTED.

His father said Sean was 'shaken but unhurt'.

Mr and Mrs Skinner have two other children at the school - Dylan, six, and Isobel, four.

Mr Skinner said he had met with Mr Thorpe after discovering what had happened.  He said: 'The headteacher said that it was an oversight that we hadn’t been told.

'But if I was in their position telling the parents of the children would be my main concern. If we don’t know what is going on in the school how can we help?'

Mr Thorpe said: 'The safety of our pupils is our number one priority.  'We will not tolerate pupils bringing knives of any description into school.  'We took immediate action as soon as we knew one of our pupils was carrying a knife and had threatened another pupil.

'Normally in cases of bullying and or threatening behaviour, we would speak to the parents of all of the children involved.  'This did not happened immediately and we apologise for this.

'On this occasion our first priority was to investigate the matter fully and ensure the safety of all our pupils.

'We are doing all we can to ensure children understand the dangers of playing with knives and that they must not bring them into school under any circumstances.

'We are also asking parents for their help in reinforcing these messages and in making sure their children do not bring knives to school.'  Mr Thorpe refused to say whether the child with the knife had been suspended.  [So we know the answer to that]


Some conservative  Concerns about the Limited Understanding Conveyed by Australia's Proposed National History Curriculum

Information without understanding?

One of my concerns is that culture is treated as a consequence, rather than a cause, of history. For example, the proposed Year 1 Content Item H1KU4 refers to considering: 'How the roles of individuals and groups have evolved over time to meet changing human needs".

The problem is that the curriculum does not seem at any stage to require considering how "roles of individuals and groups" (ie how people behave individually or corporately, as a consequence of their cultural assumptions) can affect history. For example, the ability of societies to change (socially, politically and economically) is a function of the "roles of individuals and groups" within the society, and an ability to change is in turn a major determinant a society's success or failure in terms of technological / economic advancement and influence relative to other societies (eg see Competing Civilizations). And the weak "role of individuals and groups" in dealing with change has apparently created major challenges that still need to be faced by Australians with indigenous ancestry (see The Challenge of Aboriginal Advancement).

A closely related concern is that the curriculum would not provide any depth of understanding of the way in which ideas have influenced history. The curriculum would certainly introduce various historical ideas - specifically those of: (a) Egypt or Greece or Rome (H7KU16); (b) China or India or Australasia (H7KU22); (c) Medieval Europe (H8KU13); (d) the Renaissance (H8KU19); and (e) radicals (H10KU4). However this would not lead to a coherent understanding of:

*    the particular ideas that have been the foundation of Australia's culture, institutions, society and economy. For example, a growing scientific understanding of the natural world could emerge in Europe at the time of the Renaissance and subsequently accelerate economic advancement, only because of Christendom's expectation that the natural world would be lawful. Many of the ideas that are needed to understand Australia's heritage seem unfortunately to be either absent from, or optional components in, the proposed curriculum;

*   the way in which different ideas (or the absence interest in abstract ideas) have led to different outcomes. For example, constraining the ideas that may be considered to those consistent with the world-view that Islamic scholars have elaborated around the Qu'ran arguably has significant (adverse) implications for Muslim dominated societies (see About Arabic Thought and Islamic Science). And the absence of Western societies' commitment to abstract ideas and universal values in some Asian societies (because they lack a classical Greek heritage) can lead to ways of doing things that are quite different ways to those Australians have any basis for understanding (eg see East Asia in Competing Civilizations).

Professor Stuart Macintyre, who spoke about the history component of the proposed curriculum in ACARA's Video Transcript ('Development and Consultation Overview: K–10 Draft Curriculum’, March 2010) emphasised: engaging those with diverse backgrounds; increasing understanding of Australia's regional context and of others; and promoting sustainability.

However there is a sense in which the proposed curriculum's worthy goal of encouraging acceptance of others as they are, conflicts with the need to understand what works and what doesn't work, and perhaps even the distinction between good and evil.

Moreover functionally-useful understanding of Australia's place in a region in which dominant societies lack the commitment to the abstract ideas and universal values that Western societies derived from the West's classical Greek heritage requires far more than brief references to Asia's history. Without much deeper understanding, cultural differences that are 'invisible' to those with 'Western' world views could put Australia's liberal and democratic traditions at risk (eg see Babes in the Asian Woods).

 Other observers perceived defects in the 'Asian' component of the proposed national history curriculum. For example:

*        there is a need for massive further funding to equip teachers if Asian component is introduced to curriculum - as teachers are not yet able to deliver on Asia literacy (according to Kathe Kirby - Asia Education Foundation). The draft curriculum was seen as very Eurocentric [1];

*       attempt to tell Australian story in Asia context was 'lame and impotent' according to Tony Milner (ANU) - as it fails to prepare Australians for the world they are moving into. WWII needs to focus not in Europe but on Japanese conquests in Asia. The curriculum focuses on rights / liberty / progress which does not have same impact in Asian societies [1].

A reasonable case can be made that many of the dysfunctions and conflicts that plague human societies are the unintended outcome of the failure of intellectuals to critically evaluate the consequences of differences in cultural assumptions (see Competing Civilizations) . It would not be constructive at this time to reflect this weakness in Australia's national school history curriculum.


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