The Problems with a Mobile Student Body

Mary Ellen Flannery raises an interesting issue in her NEA article, “Kids on the Move.” Kids are greatly impacted by the stress and upheaval that comes with switching schools and moving to different homes. According to Flannery, “Students who switch schools tend to have lower scores in reading and math, and they’re more likely to drop out.” One woman commented on this article asking how education can keep punishing children for their parents actions. The students do not have a say in when or where their parents move, yet the students are the ones that suffer. Isn’t it time that we started finding ways to solve these problems? Flannery mentions that oftentimes records follow the children into school too late, so that learning disabilities and special needs are not identified quickly enough. Flannery mentions that better data systems are being called for, but I feel that there must be more that can be done.

Flannery also brings up the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act, which requires schools to bus students to their original schools, not the schools determined by their current location (shelters, etc.). Better funding of this act would help homeless students retain at least a part of their former lives, allowing for the stability that children so desperately need.

This article got me thinking about problems I had never spent much time on before; how can we as teachers help new students better acclimate to their new schools- really make them want to come to school so that drop out rates for these children decrease. Would a solution be to create a community for these new students and their parents? Is there a special way to reach out to homeless students and their families? This article brought up more questions than answers for me, but I feel that they are problems every school system- and every teacher- will face.

Flannery, M. E. (2011, February 1). Kids on the move. Retrieved from http://neatoday.org/2011/02/01/kids-on-the-move/

 

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