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How teacher rotation in Japanese high schools affects the clustering of teacher quality: Comparing the distribution of teachers across public and private education sectors

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Published: 2021-07-05

Author

Ryan Seebruck

Independent Scholar

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3461-5658

Keywords: structural inequality; education; teacher rotation; labor markets; Japan

Abstract

I examine a unique facet of Japan’s public education system: jinji idou, a mandatory teacher rotation system governed by the prefectural board of education where teachers are systematically transferred to other schools throughout their careers to appropriately staff schools, facilitate varied career paths, and identify future leaders for administrative roles. Although not a formal goal, this centralized system may also produce a more equal distribution of teacher quality across schools compared to the decentralized teacher labor market found in private schools. Because this system is present in public schools and absent in private schools, comparing sector differences offers a look at its impact on teacher quality distribution. Using a sample of 1,456 teachers nested in 49 schools, private vs. public group comparison tests indicate that, for most of the teacher quality traits examined, the public sector distributes teachers more equitably. Furthermore, the public sector has higher mean levels of teacher quality, intimating that education labor markets can be structured in ways that simultaneously minimize variation between schools without hindering quality, findings germane to scholars interested in educational equality.

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Author Biography

Ryan Seebruck

Independent Scholar

Ryan is a statistician and independent scholar. He earned his PhD in sociology from the University of Arizona in 2015. His research primarily focuses on equality in educational systems and has appeared in journals such as Social Problems, Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Focus, Sociological Inquiry, and Sociological Spectrum, among others.

PDF

Published: 2021-07-05

How to Cite

Seebruck, R. (2021). How teacher rotation in Japanese high schools affects the clustering of teacher quality: Comparing the distribution of teachers across public and private education sectors. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 91. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.29.5362