Student mobility and student achievement
Wilcher, Tony Theron
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This study examined the relationship between student mobility and student achievement at a middle school in a metropolitan school district in Georgia. Student mobility has been linked to low student achievement. Many educators believe that student mobility is the inevitable result of students moving between residences. Student mobility not only impacts students who change schools, but also classrooms that have to adjust to a changing student enrollment. The researcher defined student mobility as the number of times each student moved to a different school, not counting the natural transitions between elementary, middle, and high school. Students with no moves were considered non-mobile, 1 to 2 moves moderately mobile, 3 or more moves were identified as highly mobile. Student achievement was defined as the student’s performance on the ITBS in reading and math. Data were obtained on eighth grade students in the areas of reading and mathematics. The eighth grade students were given the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, a norm referenced measure of student achievement. A three way ANOVA was conducted on reading and mathematical scores by the factors of gender, race, and mobility. There were three research questions. (1) Are there statistically significant differences in scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) among levels of race and levels of mobility. (2) Are there statistically significant differences among levels of mobility and gender? (3) Are there statistically significant differences among levels of race and gender? The data revealed that there were no statistically significant interactions among any levels of the three independent variables (race, gender, and mobility). However, there were statistically significant main effects for race, gender, and mobility. White students achieved higher scores than minorities in both reading and mathematics. Non-mobile students obtained higher scores in reading and mathematics as opposed to moderately mobile and highly mobile students. There were significant differences in the area of reading, as females obtained higher scores than males.