The Causes and Consequences of Student Mobility

Russell W. Rumberger
University of California, Santa Barbara


Student mobility—students making nonpromotional school changes—is widespread in many schools and districts throughout the United States. Mobility not only can harm the students who change schools, it can also harm the classrooms and schools they attend. This article examines the incidence, causes, and consequences of student mobility in the United States. Research reveals that the causes and consequences of mobility are more complicated than many people assume. The final part of the article discusses what parents, schools, districts, and policymakers can do to address this growing educational problem.

This article was originally published in The Journal of Negro Education by Howard University and Journal Storage (JSTOR)

Suggested citationRumberger, R. W. (2004, January). The causes and consequences of student mobility [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.