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ERIC Number: EJ964771
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1066-5684
The Ongoing Pursuit of Educational Equity in Japan: The Accreditation of Ethnic High Schools
Tokunaga, Tomoko; Douthirt-Cohen, Beth
Equity & Excellence in Education, v45 n2 p320-333 2012
In 2003, the Japanese Ministry of Education accredited the high school diplomas of most "ethnic high schools," which are schools by and for specific ethnic minority populations, such as Korean, Brazilian, or Chinese students in Japan. Prior to this policy, diplomas from most ethnic high schools were not recognized by the Japanese government as valid, and if graduates wanted to apply to universities or colleges, specifically national universities, they were required to take a high school equivalency exam. This article examines the policy's evolution toward championing equity for equal treatment, a concept that ensures that individuals with similar levels of schooling have access to similar levels of status. Through heated debate and resistance, the policy furthered equity for some ethnic minority students while maintaining inequitable circumstances for others, specifically students in ethnic high schools that serve North Korean communities. The analysis reveals four important features of the policy's development that furthered equity: (1) protesting by non-governmental actors, (2) taking advantage of a policy window, (3) using strategic value-laden language, and (4) facilitating incremental change. Often, Japanese education policies rightfully are critiqued as assimilative and discriminatory. However, this article reveals some potential to move the conversation beyond these critiques and offers suggestions to promote and iteratively come closer to educational equity for ethnic minority students. (Contains 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan