Student mobility

Families in large urban school districts in America have more school options than ever before. However, when families choose to move their children to a new school, they risk the negative consequences of mobility on student performance. Furthermore, high rates of student mobility have the potential to destabilize schools and school systems, undermining reform efforts. The Detroit Education Research Partnership seeks to better understand why students make non-routine school moves, and to identify the association between student mobility and student outcomes and school effectiveness. This research is intended to help inform policies and practices aimed at reducing the negative impact of student mobility across schools and communities.

Major Findings Include:

  • Seventeen percent of Detroit students switched schools between school years when they were not in a transition year. Early elementary school and 9th grade students were most likely to be movers, and more than half of all non-routine moves were among students who did not change residence, suggesting that dissatisfaction, disciplinary pushout, or other school-level issues may be contributing to mobility.
  • Students were less likely to make a within-year move if they attended a school categorized as having a high rating in organizational climate, as measured by the 5Essentials surveys.
  • Rates of school-level chronic absence were associated with both within- and between-year mobility, suggesting that other elements of school organizational climate may influence student movement. 

Check Out Our Research on Student Mobility in Detroit

Student Mobility, Report 1 Student Mobility, Report 1
School Characteristics and Student Mobility in Detroit, Report 2 School Characteristics and Student Mobility in Detroit, Report 2

Detroit Education Research Partnership