Summit today addresses students moving from school district to school district

mayor jamesMayor Sly James says the city needs to get a better handle on the impact of students who move around from school to school. Mayor Sly James’ office is helping to convene a day-long summit today to address the problem, which experts say interrupts the education of many students and can jeopardize high school graduation.

More than 100 educators, housing agency representatives and social service providers are taking part in the the Mobility Summit, a collaboration of the mayor and Turn the Page Kansas City, his initiative to improve reading skills among early-elementary-age students.

“It’s obvious that students who change schools multiple times, for whatever reason, will endure an interrupted education that threatens their ability get good grades, graduate from high school or to be successful in higher education and in life,” James said. “At this summit, we’ll hear about the extent of this problem and come up with ideas on how we can start to fix this problem in Kansas City.”

Controlling for other predictors and excluding grade promotion, students who made even one school change between the 8th and 12th grades were twice as likely to not complete high school as students who did not change schools, according to research published in the American Journal of Education. Because Kansas City, Missouri is home to parts of 15 school districts, moving often requires students to change school districts, the mayor’s office says.

Here’s more from the mayor’s office:

No one has a full picture of the impact of students who often change schools because there are 15 school districts within the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Students and families moving just a few miles or even a few blocks might be changing schools or school districts. Other kids who may be affected include homeless children, foster children and students at risk due to unstable family situations or behavior problems.

The day-long summit features presentations by leading national and local researchers and discussions on potential solutions to the problem among educators and multiple other community organizations.

John Sondag, president of AT&T Missouri, said grassroots attention to the problem is important to local companies. AT&T is a national sponsor of GradNation, which is helping put on the summit.

“The business community has a huge stake in this issue, and working with educators, parents and nonprofits at the local level is the best way to ensure we stay on track,” Sondag said. “Our collective future depends on it, and it will take all of us working together to achieve it.”


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