Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Stephen Laws

Abstract

Extensive literature on the problems in our country's education system exists; however, little attention has been given to high classroom student turnover at the state and federal levels (Hartman, 2002). Largely, research suggests mobility as being one of several interrelated factors which have an effect on students and the level of success experienced in school. Poverty is a prevailing factor in much of the student mobility research. Children in poverty are most likely to be mobile because their parents are moving from place to place to avoid rent, and they often become homeless. Some researchers say poverty is the cause of lower student success because these students grow up with less language exposure and less life experiences (Ashby, 2010; Kerbow, 1996; Nelson, Simoni, & Howard, 1996; Robertson, 1999; Xu, Hannaway, & D'Souza, 2009). In analyzing the variables surrounding mobility, Rumberger (2002) acknowledged studies have found mobility to be "more of a symptom than a cause of poor school performance" (p. 2).

When considering documented research and the relationship between poverty and student mobility, it is unclear to what extent each factor may independently affect a student's academic career. With mixed results throughout the research examining the relationship between student mobility and school success, analyses have shown a correlation between mobility and levels of student academic achievement.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of student mobility and other factors such as behavior and attendance on student achievement. In this study, student mobility is defined as official student enrollment and attendance at more than one school. This study inspected historical data of mobile and nonmobile students in Grades 4 and 5 in school years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. The researcher compared the data between students who were mobile and those who were nonmobile in an effort to raise awareness of the possible effects of students attending multiple schools. Interviews of classroom teachers were conducted to assess trends in teacher perceptions on the effects of mobility. The study resulted in recommendations of processes and strategies for implementation to assist mobile students as they enter and exit the school in this study.

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