Robert T. Teranishi: IGE Co-Director Co-Hosts 2nd iCount Symposium at White House

Professor Teranishi is principal investigator of the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE).

The 2015 iCount Symposium with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) in Washington D.C., Sept. 14-15, co-hosted by UCLA’s Institute for Immigration, Globalization & Education (IGE) and the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE). More than 100 participants including students, deans and presidents of colleges, institutional researchers, congressional staffers, and representatives from foundations and advocacy organizations from across the nation and U.S. territories to address the need for educational equity through the collection and utilization of better data. UCLA Professor of Education Robert T. Teranishi, is principal investigator of the iCount project, which is a collaboration between CARE, WHIAAPI and the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

John B. King, Jr., Senior Advisor Delegated Duties of Deputy Secretary of Education provided opening remarks during the first day of the iCount Symposium at the U.S. Department of Education, Potomac Center Plaza.  Courtesy of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
John B. King, Jr., Senior Advisor Delegated Duties of Deputy Secretary of Education provided opening remarks during the first day of the iCount Symposium at the U.S. Department of Education, Potomac Center Plaza.  Courtesy of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

The two-day symposium was held at the U.S. Department of Education and the White House, to discuss the impact of iCount, a national effort to address disparities in educational experiences and outcomes for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) student populations. Speakers at the symposium included Professor Teranishi, providing empirical research conducted with iCount partners and a forward looking perspective on next steps for the national data effort, along with John King, Delegated Deputy Secretary and recently appointed Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education; DJ Patil, Chief Data Scientist, U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy; Lenora Green, Senior Director, Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy, Educational Testing Services; and Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of WHIAAPI. U.S. Rep. Judy Chu also provided remarks via video.

In 2013, WHIAAPI and CARE hosted the first iCount symposium. This year’s symposium highlighted iCount’s successes and benchmarks since the effort began in 2012; provided opportunity for cross-regional discussions focused on local efforts; and created a forward-looking plan for both regional and national efforts.

“iCount – A Data Quality Movement for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs),” is focused on the need for data disaggregation to better support the unique academic needs of a diverse AAPI student population in American higher education. AAPIs are among the most understudied racial or ethnic minority groups in the U.S., which perpetuates the “model minority” myth –  the notion that virtually all AAPIs are self-sufficient, well-educated, and upwardly mobile. Such generalizations mask the diversity within the AAPI community who need the most assistance, including members of Southeast Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

This spring, Professor Teranishi was selected by President Obama to serve as one of 15 voting members of the National Board for Education Sciences, the governing body of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education. Teranishi and his fellow board members work closely with the Director of IES, each of the four Commissioners of the National Education Centers, the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Director of the Census, the Commissioner of Labor Statistics, and the Director of the National Science Foundation.
Professor Teranishi, who co-directs IGE with Professor Carola Suárez-Orozco and Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, says that the UCLA-based institute shares a closely-aligned mission with the iCount project.

Robert T. Teranishi, UCLA professor of education, is the principal investigator of the
Robert T. Teranishi, UCLA professor of education, is the principal investigator of the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE). Courtesy of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

“iCount fits squarely in the mission of UCLA’s Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education with our effort to advance greater institutional accountability for meeting the needs of a rapidly changing student demography in our nation,” he says.

Teranishi says that a greater understanding of AAPIs as more than the “model minority” will improve educational equity for all students.

“Data disaggregation – a major thrust of iCount – is the key to a more nuanced understanding of the diverse academic experiences of an increasingly heterogeneous American student population,” he says. “In using data to shift what we know about students and their unique needs and challenges, we can pinpoint how to more effectively utilize institutional resources and services.”

 

Above: UCLA Ed doctoral students who serve as research associates for the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education (CARE) joined Robert T. Teranishi, UCLA professor of education and CARE principal investigator (at far right), at the White House for the second iCount Symposium in September.

L-R: Cynthia Alcantar, Jason Chan, Edward Curammeng, Edwin Hernandez, Dolly Nguyen, Claudia Defaz, program manager, Institute for Immigration, Globalization, and Education, UCLA; Margary Martin, CARE Principal Analyst; and Professor Teranishi. Not pictured: Mike Nguyen, UCLA doctoral student and CARE research associate.

Courtesy of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders