ERIC Number: ED402386
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Patterns of Urban Student Mobility and Local School Reform.
Student mobility is a topic that frequently surfaces in discussion about the problems of urban schooling, but it is one that tends to fade from the agenda as discussion continues. Using data from the Chicago (Illinois) public elementary schools, this paper first describes the extent of urban school instability. Many schools, in fact, do not have stable cohorts of students whose progress they can track over time. The causes of this high level of instability, connected both to residential mobility and to more school-related reasons, are then explored. Distinctive patterns emerge that reveal clusters of schools that are closely tied by the students they exchange from year-to-year. Given this context, the impact of mobility on students, schools, and urban education more generally is examined. Recent school reform efforts that center on promoting greater local school autonomy implicitly assume that students will attend a specific school consistently enough that the schools can "make a difference" in their achievement. In the unstable urban context, however, even improving schools lose their accomplishments as students transfer, and mobile students forfeit the benefit of continuity of school services. Thus, not only does mobility have an impact on individual students who are changing schools, it has deep (though often hidden) consequences for the schools these students attend and for the systemic changes intended by local school reform. (Contains 7 figures, 9 tables, and 51 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Baltimore, MD.