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Student Mobility: Causes, Consequences, Solutions

Policy Brief - Jun 01, 2015

Author(s) - Russell W. Rumberger, UC Santa Barbara

This brief explores the causes and consequences of student mobility, a widespread, and often-unheralded, problem facing American schools. According to the brief, written by Russell W. Rumberger, professor of education in the Gervirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara, student mobility can negatively impact student achievement on test scores, high school graduation prospects, and even student behavior. Multiple moves and those accompanied by family disruptions produce more severe impacts. To reduce the negative impacts of student mobility, Rumberger recommends: (1) School officials should strive to reduce mobility by raising overall school quality; (2) School officials should give students and parents sufficient and timely information to make informed school transfer decisions; (3) Personnel in schools receiving transfers can prepare materials and activities before students arrive; and (4) State officials should collect and report school and district mobility rates.