The Rennie Center on Education released a report on Tuesday in Holyoke on student mobility in the Gateway Cities. Please see below for the link. MASS Inc. did a companion piece on new education-housing partnerships to help stabilize families.
The Rennie Center and MASS Inc reports clearly address the need for housing and education policy makers to look at this issue collectively and work together to stabilize students. The research clearly supports (even when holding for income) that mobility has a large negative impact on educational achievement.
With today’s economic insecurity, as many families are forced to move after losing their jobs, homes, or both, student mobility may be holding back Massachusetts’ efforts to close its persistent achievement gap, according to this new Rennie Center report, supported by the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, United Way of Pioneer Valley, and United Way of Central Massachusetts and released today at a public forum in Holyoke, MA.
The report, A Revolving Door: Challenges and Solutions to Educating Mobile Students, finds that while student turnover affects schools across the Commonwealth, low-performing urban districts tend to have the highest rates of student mobility. In many of the state’s lowest performing schools and districts, more than one in five students enters or leaves during the school year. The issue of student mobility is especially prominent in the state’s Gateway Cities, such as Holyoke, Springfield, Fitchburg and Lawrence, where economic displacement leads to high levels of job loss, foreclosures and homelessness.
The report emphasizes that policymakers must continue to hold high expectations for all students and schools while acknowledging the diverse and complex needs of mobile students and the schools that educate them. If Massachusetts is to close its achievement gap and ensure a bright future for all students, policymakers must recognize and take immediate action to address the problems associated with student mobility.