Saturday, November 14, 2009

Student mobility rates & suspensions in the West Zone

Instead of writing up notes from school previews or doing practice run-throughs of Thanksgiving pies (poached pear tart with chocolate ganache, anyone?), I thought I’d spend some time this rainy Saturday morning culling student mobility rates for all West Zone schools from each school's report card. The mobility rate is the transfers in and out as a percentage of total enrollment.

I guess the mobility rate could be considered an imperfect measure of parent satisfaction -- if the rate is low, parents aren’t pulling their kids out of school to send them to another school. The mobility rate could also just be a reflection of a school’s population as some families may move around a lot. A lower mobility rate could make for a more stable school community.  Then again, you also have to consider students transferring to Advanced Work schools in the fourth grade. It's tough to know what, exactly, to make of this.

The Kilmer and the Lyndon have the lowest mobility rates, followed by citywide (or former citywide) schools.

The second number I’ve included is the number of suspensions for the 2008-9 school year. I thought about creating a separate table, but it didn’t seem fair because the suspensions aren’t presented as rates. And even if they were, it would probably be a skewed statistic, a bit like the divorce rate, because I’d imagine there are students who have more than one suspension. In general, the number of suspensions seems to be higher in schools with higher grades. Not too surprising, I guess. The Irving middle school had 156 suspensions last year. Good luck to the new principal and the group of parents working hard to improve the school.

Student mobility rates/suspensions for 2008-9:
Kilmer K-8: 4.1%, 1
Lyndon K-8: 4.6%, 6
Mission Hill K-8 (now a North Zone school. I’m including it just in case some of you are in the Walk Zone): 4.7%, 1
Hernandez: 4.9%, 7
Mozart: 11.8%, N/A
Philbrick: 12.3%, 6
West Zone ELC: 12.3%, N/A
Haley: 12.5%, 9
Haynes EEC: 12.6%, 2
Ohrenberger: 13.8%, 22
Hennigan: 14.0%, 2
Sumner: 14.0%, 35
Conley: 14.8%, 12
Manning: 15.0%, 16
Irving Middle School: 15.5%, 156
Kennedy: 15.9%, 27
Hale: 16.6%, N/A
Trotter: 16.6%, 21
Bates: 16.9%, 2
Beethoven: 16.9%, 3
Curley K-8: 17.8%, 94
Agassiz: 22.3%, 70
Mendell: 24.3%, 5
Ellis: 29.9%, 30
King K-8: 34.0%, 71


Michael Pahre said...

Student mobility rate is widely considered an indicator that correlates with student achievement.

In Boston, I would be surprised if the transfer numbers are dominated by parents pulling their children out of a school due to dissatisfaction, although this no doubt happens. My impression is that most transfers are due to families moving -- around town, in/out of Boston, out of the country.

A transient student population makes year-to-year instruction challenging, which is why mobility rate is a useful indicator of student achievement or performance.

BPS has a system-wide student mobility rate of around 20%, which means that, on average, 10% of the kids transfer out of a given school and 10% of the kids transfer in to that same school in a year. I'm not sure what the average K-5 or K-8 mobility rates are, but I suspect they are lower while middle/high school rates are higher.

EEC/ELCs can have lower mobility rates because few students are transferring into them in the upper grade(s) (since those students would just have to transfer again after a year).

KellyJMF said...

I imagine Advanced Work also plays a part, with students who qualify changing schools. For example, I know that at the Lyndon, students who qualify for AWC usually stay put.

Geeky Mama said...

Good points, Michael and Kelly. Thanks.