Student mobility i.e. students moving from one school to another for reasons other than being promoted to the next school level-is common in the United States. It is a topic that repeatedly surfaces in discussions about the problems of urban schooling. Remarkably, it tends to fade from the program as discussion turns toward reform initiatives and school restructuring. Student mobility and the resulting school instability are usually relegated to a background condition a part of an external context to which schools must adjust. However, mobility's effects can be deep and wide-ranging. They penetrate the crucial activity of schools the interaction of teachers and students around learning.
In addition, not only does mobility have an effect on those students who are changing schools, it also more in general disturbs the functioning of classrooms and the basic operations of schools. This is not to say that just reducing student mobility will unavoidably translate into school improvement. Stable schools can also provide bad quality instruction to their students. Stability, in contrast, provides a base condition on which a school can build and transform successful programs. Without a certain level of stability, it is in doubt how school -based educational programs, no matter how modern, could effectively develop and show long-term impact.
Mobility is an occurrence that is strongly deep-seated in the urban context and in urban schools. Accordingly, no one-policy approach alone is likely to reduce its prevalence and to improve its effects. The analyses suggest that an array of policy issues merit consideration. Discussions should focus on two levels: policies that can assist in decreasing the level of mobility between schools, and initiatives that can assess the negative impact of student mobility on learning and support school improvement efforts more generally.
Over their whole elementary and secondary careers, most students make at least one non-promotional school change (Rumberger et al., 1999). Many educators think that student mobility is a definite result of students changing residences. In actual fact, 2000 U.S. census data show that 15% to 18% of school-age children moved in the previous year. There have also been indications that welfare reform may affect moving, with parents moving to accept jobs.
On the other hand, research has also found that between 30% and 40% of school changes are not related with residential changes (Kerbow, 147-169; Rumberger et al., 1999). School factors such as overcrowding, class size reduction, suspension and expulsion policies, and the general academic and social climate also contribute to student mobility. The increase of parental options included in the No Child Left Behind legislation may also contribute over time to increased mobility.
Impact on Students Academic Growth: A Literature Review
The existing studies of the effect of student mobility on achievement tend to point out that a general decline in achievement is associated with mobility (Benson, Haycraft, Stayaert, & Weigel, 444-47; Benson & Weigel, 15-19; Blane et al, 127-42; Felner et al., 449-59; Johnson & Lindblad, 547-52; Schuler, 17-24; Wood et al., 1334-1338). The