Deconstructing Whiteness:
why do Asians dominate the lists of

Intel Science Talent Search Finalists?

This page presents the partial results of a study of the Intel Science Talent Search Finalists for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. I have not included the results for 2013.  

from WIKI: (click here and scroll down to see Secondary schools of finalists and semi-finalists, 2002–2010)

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), known for its first 57 years as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, is a research-based science competition in the United States for high school seniors. It has been referred to as "the nation's oldest and most prestigious" science competition

Entrants to the competition conduct original research—sometimes at home and sometimes by "working with leading research teams at universities, hospitals and private laboratories."[1] The selection process is highly competitive, and besides the research paper, letters of recommendation, essays, test scores, extracurricular activities, and high school transcripts may be factored in the selection of finalists and winners.

Each year, approximately 1,700 papers are submitted. The top 300 applicants are announced in mid-January with each Semifinalist and their school receiving $1,000. In late January, the 40 Finalists (the award winners) are informed.

The concept of Zone(s) of Proximal Development, rather than the concepts of race and ethnicity, helps not only to explain "Asian" dominance, but also deconstructs the "white" minority subset into ZPDs.  For an early albeit implicit demonstration of the effectiveness of the concept of ZPD, see Zena Smith Blau, Black children/white children : competence, socialization, and social structure (Free Press, 1981).
Uri Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory
The picture so far (and unlikely to change):

Children of highly educated scientists and engineers, academics, and professionals (mainly doctors and lawyers) from secular households and affluent, cosmopolitan communities completely dominate the lists of 40 finalists. Children of capitalists are absent, as are children of upper mangement from both the corporate and the service sectors.  Children of everyone else are absent.  While two thirds are of Asian background, more interesting is the deconstruction of the "white" minority.  The result of such a deconstruction eliminates the salience of racial and ethnic categories, replacing them with the concepts of bioecological systems theory

The standard racial categorization of the American population as "White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander" is useless for puposes of the analysis of cognitive development.  The Association of Religion Data Archives provides us with the categories Evangelical Protestants, Black Protestants, Mainline Protestants, Catholic, Orthodox, Other, and Unclaimed.  This last category accounts for 51% of the total (this does not indicate atheism, just no reported affiliation).  This breakdown of the white population is of great value, and reflects modern scholarship.  My breakdown of the white population into severely, really, merely, and nearlywhite is both performative and immanent (that is, emergent in a performative phenomenological field), and overlaps the objective, extrinsic categorization of the ARDA.  (See examples at the right)  As will be seen, the severely and really white are entirely absent from the Intel Finalists lists, while the merely and nearly white students on these lists are virtually indistinguishable from the Asian finalists within the conceptual framework of Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development.

really white (genteel white supremacy): an example

The exchange between Juan Williams and Newt Gingrich--and the crowd's response--at Fox’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina on January 16, 2012:

1. Gingrich Slams Juan Williams in Racial Exchange,, 1-17-12

At a Gingrich rally the next day a women thanks Newt Gingrich for "putting Mr. Juan Williams in his place" (2).  

2. Republican Woman Thanks Newt For Putting Juan Williams In His "Place", Uploaded by hennehn on Jan 18, 2012

severely white (vulgar and violent white supremacy): click on RMD

from Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism ( Oxford University Press, 2004)

America is the home of by far the most deep, widespread and conservative religious belief in the Western world, including a section possessed by wild millenarian hopes, fears and hatreds—and these two phenomena are intimately related. . .  [A]t the start of the twenty first century the United States as a whole is much closer to the developing world in terms of religious belief than to the industrialized countries (although a majority of believers in the United States are not fundamentalist Protestants but Catholics and “mainline,” more liberal Protestants).  Lieven, P. 8
A striking difference between the United States and all other advanced nations is the presence of a quasi-hegemonic fundamentalist culture in the United States.  This culture is mobilized by powerful political and economic elites for political and economic purposes, dominating some and permeating all media, and shaping the semiotic contours of public discourse.  This negative developmental force is entirely absent in the top performing nations.  The Intel Finalists, on the other hand, are immunized against this highly organized culture of anti-intellectualism and ressentiment.  Their proximal cultural systems of family, neighborhood and school embody values antithetical to that culture.  This should be obvious, yet so pervasive are the forces so inadequately captured by the word stupid and the concept of party that we ignore the single most significant variable affecting a nation's cognitive development.  We should think more of a web of cultures, the financial institutions at the center of educational reform organizations, school boards, and state party organizations that together form the dominant force in shaping educational policy.

The inadequacy of the word stupid brecomes apparent.  To call the statement "poverty is no excuse" stupid is to miss the big picture--that is why my opening title--"The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An Inadequate Conceptualization"--problematizes at the outselt the all to easy and causual use of the word stupid.

Consider what Michelle Rhee's famous shibboleth "poverty is no excuse." The discussion of the effect of poverty on educational outcomes is virtually taboo in the United States, yet it is a fundamental concern of the OECD. Not only does the OECD take cognizance of the effect of socio-economic differences on cognitive development; they evaluates the effectiveness of OECD member nations' educational systems in narrowing the effects of such differences.   Anyone with a college education should know the terms dependent and independent variable, even if they never took a course in statistics.  Educational leaders, especially those who yak about test scores, should be expected both to understand regression analysis and to be able to explain it in public.  When instead they demonize such mathemetical methods--poverty is no excuse--they  not only demonstrate ignorance and irresponsibility; they play a major role in undermining respect for science.

1.  OECD (2010), PISA 2009 Results: Overcoming Social Background – Equity in Learning Opportunities and Outcomes (Volume II)

The weak relationship shown in Figure II.1.3 [click on above link and go to page 31] suggests that countries with similar levels of income inequality distribute learning opportunities very differently.  This finding is important as it shows that equity in educational opportunities can be achieved even where income is distributed highly inequitably. For example, in Iceland and Hungary, two OECD countries with a gini coefficient of around 0.29, close to the OECD average of 0.31, the proportion of the variation in student reading performance explained by the variation in students’ socio-economic background is 6% and 26%, respectively. A wide range of countries sits between these two extremes. Finland and Norway appear with Iceland in the top-right corner with below-average impact of socio-economic background on performance and below-average underlying inequality. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg join Hungary in the bottom-right quadrant with above-average impact of socio-economic background and below-average underlying inequalities. Estonia, Greece, Israel, Italy and Japan appear in the top-left quadrant, with above-average underlying inequalities and a below-average impact of socio-economic background; while Chile, new Zealand, Portugal, the United States and Turkey appear in the bottom-left quadrant, where income inequalities are large and the impact of socio-economic background on learning outcomes is also large. p. 32.

hat is a key component of a fundamentally racist ruling party.racist catholic mentalilty that has been empowered by the activities of powerful institonal power networks.  The war on science--glibal warming, evoution, and the developmental social sciences--is not merely ideological and political.  The war on science has a powerful impact on specific subcultures within the united states such that their children are negatively affected in powerful and far reraching ways that non-amerians canot appreciate.

indeed, non-americans have been perpelxed by the cognitive-cultural peculiarities of American society and politics for a long time.  But recent shutdown and tea party march to armageddon, on top of the anti-science posture not only of he tea party, and the gop, but also of the major media which until recently werer touting the gop line of teach the controversey.

the analysis and materials prsented on this page are explicable in terms of this theoretical orentation.
from Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development, Urie Bronfenbrenner, ed. (Sage Publications, 2005)

The contemporary scientific study of human development is characterized by a committment to the understanding of the dynamic relationships between the developing individual and the integrated, multilevel ecology of human development.  This approach to development is marked by a theoretical focus on temporally (historically) embedded person-context relational process; by the embracing of models of dynamic change across the ecological system; and by relational, change-sensitive methods predicated on the idea that individuals influence the people and institutions of their ecology as much as they are influenced by them. (ix)

Especially in its early phases, but also throughout the life course, human development takes place through processes of progressively more complex reciprocal between an active, evolving biopsychosocial human organism and the persons, objects and symbols in its immediate external environment. (xviii)

Within the bioecological theory, develoment is defined as the phenomenon of continuity and change in the biopsychological characteristics of human beings both as individuals and as groups.  The phenomenon extends over the life course across successive generations and through historical time both past and present. (3)

re Margolies and Bildung

the stupid party and Do ver Penna.

poverty is no excuse


Chapter 2 Understanding Cultural Historical Activity Theory (google search: cultural historical activity theory: Springer)
The basic findings so far:

Asians comprise 65% of the finalists, Jews 12.5%.

The best explanation of this emerges from the Vygotsky-Bronfenbrenner approach to cognitive development. Objective sociological variables are transformed into subjective developmental variables.  It is not enough to say that the rich have an advantage.  The specific developmental contexts and mechanisms must  be articulated.

The most striking conclusion?  The victims of the right wing crusade against science and the public sector are fundamentalist Protestants, both white and black, and working and middle class Catholics.  These subcultures are unwitting participants in the destruction of their childrens' future.  Should their children ever awaken to this fact, an entirely new kind of politics may emerge--a politics of Bildung.  (This is very unlikely, but one can hope.)

This page deals with the Southern region.  Other pages will deal with the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West.

Asians: Too Smart for Their Own Good?
 (NYT 12-19-12)

For middle-class and affluent whites, overachieving Asian-Americans pose thorny questions about privilege and power, merit and opportunity. Some white parents have reportedly shied away from selective public schools that have become “too Asian,” fearing that their children will be outmatched. Many whites who can afford it flock to private schools that promote “progressive” educational philosophies, don’t “teach to the test” and offer programs in art and music (but not “Asian instruments,” like piano and violin). At some of these top-tier private schools, too, Asian kids find it hard to get in.

We want to fill our top universities with students of exceptional and wide-ranging talent, not just stellar test takers. But what worries me is the application of criteria like “individuality” and “uniqueness,” subjectively and unfairly, to the detriment of Asians, as happened to Jewish applicants in the past. I suspect that in too many college admissions offices, a white Intel Science Talent Search finalist who is a valedictorian and the concertmaster of her high school orchestra would stand out as exceptional, while an Asian-American with the same résumé (and socioeconomic background) would not.

Asian workers now dominate Silicon Valley tech jobs (San Jose Mercury News, 11-30-12)

The South Atlantic States: Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware

The East South Central States:
Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee

The West South Central States:
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas

Plano is located within the metropolitan area commonly referred to as the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The city is home to many corporate headquarters: Alliance Data, Cinemark Theatres, Dell Services, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Ericsson, Frito-Lay, HP Enterprise Services, Huawei, J. C. Penney, Pizza Hut, Rent-A-Center, Traxxas, and Siemens PLM Software.

Richardson is an affluent inner suburb of Dallas and home of The University of Texas at Dallas and the Telecom Corridor with a high concentration of telecommunications companies. More than 5,000 businesses have operations within Richardson's 28 square miles (73 km2), including many of the world's largest telecommunications/networking companies: AT&T, Ericsson, Verizon, Cisco Systems, Samsung, MetroPCS, Texas Instruments, TriQuint Semiconductor, and Fujitsu.

The Woodlands is located 32 miles (51 km) north of Houston along Interstate 45. Though it began as a suburban development and a bedroom community, it also has attracted corporations to the area. As a result, the area features several corporate campuses, most notably Chevron Phillips, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Baker Hughes, CB&I, US Oncology, Hewitt Associates, Maersk Line, and Safmarine. The development won a Special Award for Excellence in 1994 from the Urban Land Institute.

Plano--White.  Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science is a two-year residential early college entrance program serving approximately 380 Texans at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. It is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology.  Each year TAMS admits approximately 200 new students following their 10th grade year of high school. These students are entered into full-time college studies and proceed to earn two years of college credit that is transferable in most situations while at the same time earning a high school diploma. Typical TAMS students receive both a high school diploma and more than 60 college credits, allowing them to potentially enter university with enough credit to qualify as a junior. 

dad veterinarian(?), mom teacher

This is one of the lowest class backgrounds of all 40 finalists!

The Woodlands--HispanicThe John Cooper School is a non-sectarian [private $16-20,000] school that welcomes students, families, and faculty/staff of all religious faiths as well as those who do not profess a religious faith, the school does not sponsor or favor any particular religion, and takes the view that the organized expression of religious beliefs or the promotion of a specific religious belief within the school environment is not appropriate.

parents MDs

Richardson--AsianPlano East Senior High School

Both of Amy’s parents came from Beijing and work as computer engineers.  Tim Chyao is associated with C - Systems, Inc. and holds several roles such as S and Director
Southern United States  
Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Georgia

Ari Misha Dyckovsky--Md.: Leesburg (suburb of DC); Loudoun County Academy of Science (magnet program of science and technology);father, a market researcher and high-tech exec with a degree in economics and a Yale MBA.  Died young.  See story re ZPD--Amy Dyckovsky is the owner of Amy D Photography portrait studio in Loudoun County

New Exhibit of Landscape and Nature Photography by Tom Lussier and Amy Dyckovsky on Display at Town Exhibit Hall
Amy Dyckovsky is the owner of Amy D Photography portrait studio in Loudoun County. A talented professional portrait photographer, Amy studied photography at the University of California-Berkeley. Well-trained in darkroom photography, she is additionally qualified to utilize and take full advantage of the digital world.  .  .  Amy is a member of the Loudoun Arts Council and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, as well as the recipient of various awards and publication credits. She lives in Leesburg with her husband, three kids and two dogs. For more information about Amy and her photography, please visit webpage  

Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau:[1]
Region 1 (Northeast)
Division 1 (New England) Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut
Division 2 (Mid-Atlantic) New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey
Region 2 (Midwest) (Prior to June 1984, the Midwest Region was designated as the North Central Region.)[1]
Division 3 (East North Central) Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
Division 4 (West North Central) Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa
Region 3 (South)
Division 5 (South Atlantic) Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida
Division 6 (East South Central) Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama
Division 7 (West South Central) Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana
Region 4 (West)
Division 8 (Mountain) Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico
Division 9 (Pacific) Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii

As of 2010, an estimated 114,555,744 people, or thirty-seven percent of all U.S. residents, lived in the South, the nation's most populous region.
Frederic Koehler--Silver Spring, Va.:  (Northern suburb of DC)
Mom Asian, dad--Montgomery Blair High School top public hs

Fla--Asian--Oviedo High School public; dad:Dr. Sanjay Patel MD (?); Nita Patel. Coordinator Research Foundation at University of Central Florida (?)

Georgia--Asian; Northview High School
Their mentor was Guanghua Chen, Harland
Clarke Senior Software Engineer.
A Nation of Uncle Toms

City (mostly affluent suburbs)
School (mostly public)
Ethnicity (2/3 Asian; 1/6 Jewish; 0 really white)
Family Occupations (highly educated professionals with high incomes)


There are 0 finalists from the East South Central states.

There are 3 finalists from the West South Central states, all from Texas

There are 4 finalists from the South Atlantic states

scientists, professors
non-science professors
managers, scientific and technical, with advanced degrees
professionals, other

absence of upper-middle class managers
absence of business owners
absence of those without professional degrees


absence of really white
absence of Polish, Italian and Irish names
absence of Slavic names (with exceptions that prove the rule)


The national anti-intellectual crusade/culture impacts variably on the individual: see Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory (above).  Children enclosed within fundamentalist (both black and white) and Catholic frameworks of micro and meso socialization (family, neighborhood, church, peers); and exposed exclusively to right wing media elites (macro cultural system), are developmentally sabatoged.

Children of
highly educated professionals with high incomes living in affluent suburbs, on the other hand, are immunized against these influences by powerful cosmopolitan zonal influences, both local and global.  The Intel finalists are mostly public school educated, but these mostly elite public schools provide adequate immunization, especialy when combined with the micro influence of family, etc.

genocide; cultural genocide; developmental subversion
Below are selected local/regional studies