In regard to educational achievement, the use of the word minority by some in describing underachieving youth is unfortunate and misleading. By definition a minority is from a different ethnic group than the majority of the population. Uses of terms like different ethnic groups and race are equally unhelpful in explaining educational achievement and in the latter case simply false as there are no human races that can be identified genetically.
On the other hand in looking at educational achievement numerous studies have shown a correlation between academic achievement and the socio-economic condition of the family. A well to do immigrant family's child will usually do as well or better than a white counterpart from a similar class. Spain is a nation of hispanics but generally shows high levels of educational achievement. Obviously "hispanic" is not the problem or the virtue here, since this same group is said to do less well in the U.S. Within Spain, however, you will find differences based on socio-economic class. Similarly, within China and Japan, while these nations generally have high educational achievement, not all children do well simply as a result of being Asian and one will find the poor achievers highly clustered among the economically disadvantaged. To think rural Chinese will do as well in school as urban simply by dint of being Chinese is simply foolish and belied by the data.
Race is further not a construct which is correct when speaking of immigrants or ethnic groups like African Americans who have been present here for a long time. Genetic studies show no correlation between genes for color and those for other aspects of the human being including intelligence. Hence a very black person may have completely caucasian features as the Ethiopians do generally. Human coloring itself is a continuum as you will notice if you have the chance to go to Egypt. My own Italian American group was often said, in a time fortunately long gone by, to have "olive" skin, usually by those wishing to associate us more with the African continent lying to the south of Italy than with other Europeans closer to their kinship group. I will spare you some of the derogatory epithets of the epoque but fortunately or not we have been co-opted into the European group now, necessity making strange bedfellows for those who would still like to consider us an under class.
Genes other than color are also found to be dispersed throughout populations with varying frequency. The African population is said to have the widest dispersion of gene types, consistent with the theory that the human species has evolved out of Africa and hence populations there are the oldest and have had the longest time to evolve. Consequently geneticists find among the African population the greatest number of very intelligent people as well as unintelligent ones as compared with whites and Asian who have less time to evolve. These latter populations, presumably coming out of Africa and evolving later than the source group, have genetic dispersion closer to the mean for their respective groups and fewer outliers in terms of extreme intelligence or lack thereof.
So if school achievement is not explained by ethnicity and even less so by race which doesn't really exist within homo sapiens which is a single species with as many different colorings as bird feathers, what does explain it. Countless studies have shown that the economic well being of the family is highly correlated with school achievement. The drunken toughs of the English working class being as difficult to educate ast he immigrant "pakis" as Pakistani immigrants are derisively called there, not because of any genetic factor but because working class families simply have less time to read to their kids, help them with their homework or introduce them to the riches of the greater culture, few of which they had an opportunity to learn themselves. As the white working class moves up in socio-economic status as the immigrants take the lower paying jobs, they have more time and motivation to try and assimilate themselves to the middle class values of education and culture. This is what happened to my group Italian Americans and we did not become more intelligent as we moved up, in fact some may have even become less intelligent as they forgot where they had come from and what truly gave them the opportunity they now had. But this is a slight digression.
All these educational differences are not inevitable, however. Unless and until we have a more equal society there will always be disadvantged kids. Much can be done to assure though that they have equal or at least improved educational opportunity. Numerous studies illustrate the benefit of head-start, teacher training and other specially designed programs. The first step , however, is quite simple, recognizing that disadvantaged is not inferior. The may actually have values and skills that they bring to the table that you will need someday.
The nice thing about SOCIALISM is that we work with the talents that people have for their and society's benefit, instead of competing against one another in a vicious game of survival of the fittest, which obliges us to define somebody as less deserving than ourselves, if we don't want to fall to the bottom in his place.
Have a nice week.
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