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Student Mobility in Rural and Nonrural Districts in Five Central Region States




Research suggests that highly mobile students (students who enter and leave school other than at the beginning or end of the school year) are less successful academically, drop out of school at higher rates, and require more frequent disciplinary action. This study, Student mobility in rural and nonrural districts in five Central Region states, calculated student mobility percentages in five Central Region states and compared mobility by locale (city, suburb, town, and rural locale) and found no consistent patterns.

The report also describes districts in each state with extremely high student mobility. In particular, the study found that

  • Districts with extremely high student mobility are often rural, have higher-than-state-average shares of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and are on or near American Indian reservations.
  • Only in Wyoming did rural locales have higher student mobility than did city and town locales. In North Dakota mobility percentages were higher in both towns and rural areas than in cities or suburbs.
  • Comparisons in each state among the three rural locale codes did not show a consistent pattern of mobility levels.

Because each state calculated student mobility differently, mobility percentages cannot be compared across states.

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Publication Date:
June 2010