The Data

An expanding body of evidence shows that high rates of school mobility are linked to negative outcomes in multiple spheres of a student’s life.  

What is student mobility?
Student mobility is defined as any time a student changes schools for reasons other than grade promotion. Student mobility can be:
  1. Voluntary
    1. An intentional decision to move
    2. Example: to participate in a new program
  2. Involuntary
    1. Expulsion
  3. Residential
    1. A change in living situation that requires a student to change schools
    2. Example: homelessness or change in a parent’s job
How does student mobility affect schools?
  1. Teacher effectiveness – Students entering and leaving classrooms throughout the school year disrupts effective teaching.
  2. School culture & family engagement – Families and children may find it difficult to build relationships with their school community if they are changing environments repeatedly.
  3. School accountability ratings – High mobility rates affect student attendance, academic performance and graduation rates.
How does student mobility affect school districts?
District A has 80,000 students and a mobility rate of 18%.
  1. 14,400 students change schools during the school year.
  2. Students miss an average of 6 days every time they change schools.
  3. Students miss 86,400 days due to mobility.
District A loses approximately $3,456,000 in annual revenue just to student mobility. (If Weighted Average Daily Attendance is $40.)
How does student mobility affect students?
  1. Mobility disproportionately affects economically disadvantaged students
  2. Studies show student mobility is associated with:
    1. lower school engagement
    2. poorer grades in reading and math
    3. higher risk of dropping out of high school
  3. Students generally lose 3 months of reading and math learning each time they switch schools.