VIDEO: Group of East Bay Asian parents question why school district is asking for detailed racial information about their kids

 

PLEASANTON (KRON) — A group of Asian parents in the East Bay are raising questions about why their school district is asking for more detailed racial information about their kids.

On Wednesday, KRON4 talked to two Pleasanton moms who say the practice is unfair and they want it changed.“

“I feel uncomfortable, very uncomfortable, because I don’t know why you’re doing this,” parent Lucy Ye said. “What’s the purpose…?”

What makes Ye uneasy is the registration form she was asked to fill out before entering her 5-year-old son Kevin into his transitional kindergarten class at the beginning of the last school year.

But there’s not just one box for Asian, instead, there are more than a dozen different Asian subgroups on the form.

“Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and all of those countries in Asia. Why should we do that?” parent Sylvia Tian said.

Tian is another Pleasanton mom who doesn’t think it’s fair that Asian parents are being asked to differentiate themselves in this way.

“Why single out Asians? Why single out all the countries? In Asia? That’s not correct,” Tian said.

Both moms feel that this data could end up hurting their kids’ chances when they are applying for college.

The Pleasanton Unified School District says they are just complying with legislation requiring the collection of this data that passed in 2011.

A spokesperson with the state department of education says they use the data to track how kids from these subgroups are doing in school so they identify those who need more help.

The law that required the state to collect this demographic data was co-sponsored by several Asian and Pacific Islander civil rights groups.

“Education should be colorblind, national origin blind,” Tian said. “It should be equal to all people.“

The group that wants to see this practice end met with state Assemblywoman Catherine Baker of San Ramon, who says she will look into the issue and the possibility of crafting new legislation.

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