Houston Education Research Consortium, in collaboration with 10 public school districts in the Houston area, embarked on a multi-year study of student mobility in Texas and across the Houston area to better understand which students change schools and the consequences those changes have for educational outcomes. Researchers found student mobility is patterned in the Houston area: it is possible to predict both who will move and where they will move.
Additionally, student mobility matters for educational outcomes. It matters for the outcomes of mobile and non-mobile students. Finally, student mobility is simultaneously a challenge for each individual district and cannot be resolved by any particular district in the Houston area. Joint and regional efforts are required if student mobility and its impacts are to be addressed.
Guiding Research Questions
- Which students are mobile?
- When are students mobile?
- Where are students mobile?
- What are the consequences of student mobility on education outcomes?
- Student mobility begets student mobility.
- Mobility for Black students was high, but can be explained by other characteristics of these students.
- More student mobility takes places during the summer, but it is mainly structural changes.
- Despite being less common, school year mobility resulted in more students leaving Houston area schools.
- The only student mobility that stayed in the same district was structural mobility during the summer.
- In the Houston area, there are networks of schools that mobile students move between.
- Houston area students that leave traditional public schools for non-district charter schools are likely to return to traditional public schools but not to their original district.
- Student mobility has an immediate effect on student achievement scores and a long-term effect on high school dropout, retention, and on-time graduation.
- More mobility on a campus dropped its average accountability performance regardless of how well it’s done in the past.
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