We use comprehensive administrative data from three states to document the relationships between geographic mobility and student outcomes during K-12 schooling. We focus specifically on nonstructural mobility events—which we define as school or district changes that do not occur naturally as the result of planned transitions between schools—and on longitudinal measures that capture these events cumulatively for students. We show that the number of nonstructural moves experienced by a student is a powerful indicator of low academic performance and graduation rates. Longitudinal information on student mobility is unlikely to be readily available to local practitioners—i.e., individual districts, schools, or teachers. However, due to recent investments in longitudinal data systems in most states, this information can be made available at low cost by state education agencies.
Citation: Dan Goldhaber, Cory Koedel, Umut Özek, Eric Parsons (2021). Using Longitudinal Student Mobility Across Schools and Districts to Identify At-Risk Students. CALDER Working Paper No.