might be disentangled from associated factors—including the factors that lead to the mobility—that also have negative effects on young children. Still more challenging is to establish causal mechanisms to explain apparent connections between school and residential mobility and negative outcomes for some children.
The Board on Children, Youth, and Families, with the support of the Strategic Knowledge Fund, a partnership of the Foundation for Child Development and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, held a workshop in June 2009 to examine issues related to mobility and to highlight the principal themes in the available research.1 The goal for the workshop was to “review research on the patterns of change and mobility in the lives of young children (ages 3 to 8 years) and to examine the implications of this work for the design of child care, early childhood and elementary educational programs, and community services for neighborhoods and vulnerable populations that experience high rates of mobility.” The workshop focused primarily on young children. This stage is often overlooked by researchers and policy makers, compared with early childhood and adolescence, yet the first few years of school set the stage for later academic development and are critical to children’s life prospects. The workshop also focused particularly on educational outcomes for children at risk because of poverty, homelessness, and other factors; it did not address health or social service issues or socioemotional development.
It is important to note that this report documents the information presented in the workshop presentations and discussions. Its purpose is to lay out the key ideas that emerged from the workshop and should be viewed as an initial step in examining the research and applying it in specific policy circumstances. The report is confined to the material presented by the workshop speakers and participants. Neither the workshop nor this summary is intended as a comprehensive review of what is known about student mobility, although it is a general reflection of the literature. The presentations and discussions were limited by the time available for the workshop. A more comprehensive review and synthesis of relevant research knowledge will have to wait for further development.
This report was prepared by a rapporteur and it does not represent findings or recommendations that can be attributed to the committee members who planned the workshop. The workshop was not designed to generate consensus conclusions or recommendations but focused instead on the identification of ideas, themes, and considerations that contribute to understanding the impact of frequent moves on student achievement.
Papers commissioned for the workshop and speaker presentations are available at http://www.bocyf.org/children_who_move_workshop_presentations.html.