ERIC Number: ED466669
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Student Mobility in Rural Communities: What Are the Implications for Student Achievement?
Paik, Sandra; Phillips, Rebecca
High student mobility seems to occur as frequently in rural districts as in urban districts, but little research has focused specifically on rural student mobility. Correlations between characteristics of rural communities, the current state of rural schools, and the factors that contribute to high student mobility suggest that student mobility is a substantial issue in rural areas. This issue becomes timely with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, which reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act's Education for Homeless Children and Youth. To comply with the Act, states and districts must recognize student mobility as a barrier to student achievement and address the implications. This paper discusses ways in which student mobility occurs, particular factors that increase the risk of rural families becoming mobile, and findings from research on student mobility. High student mobility negatively affects educational achievement for students and schools, creating an achievement gap between mobile and nonmobile students. Frequent relocation disrupts regular attendance, continuity of lesson content, and development of relationships with teachers and peers. In schools with higher mobility rates, classroom instruction is more likely to be review-oriented, and grade retention is more common. Initiatives to address mobility are underway in Minnesota, Indiana, Texas, and Illinois. Strategies to reduce the negative effects of mobility include professional development to increase staff awareness, identification of families in need, newcomer programs, efficient records transfer, supportive attendance and disciplinary policies, and outreach to parents and families. (Contains 20 references and 10 resources.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Educational Needs, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Migrant Children, Relocation, Rural Family, Rural Schools, Rural Youth, Student Mobility, Transfer Students, Transient Children
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 112 East Diehl Road, Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563-1486. Tel: 630-649-6500; Tel: 800-356-2735 (Toll Free). For full text: http://www.ncrel.org/policy/pubs/html/rmobile/index.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Educational Lab., Naperville, IL.