Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Reid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shakirah Miller Harrington, Ed.D

Committee Member

Michelle Knight Manuel, Ph.D.


Student Mobility, Teacher Efficacy, Professional Development, Student Performance


This study examined the teachers’ perspective of student mobility in urban public middle schools in the northeast state of the country. Thirty middle school teachers in an urban public-school system were interviewed about their prior years’ classroom experience with student mobility. They included those teaching English as a Second Language, Special Education, Science, Math and Language Arts, and Social Studies. In addition, student achievement data on standardized tests were studied. The research study concluded that teachers reported that they experienced frustration and anxiety, and that student mobility and its classroom consequences were relegated to the “undiscussable” aspects of the profession; with no attention paid in either collegial or administrative training. Attention to the issue was not evident in teacher preparation programs, professional development topics of discussion, or recurring professional learning communities.

The research also found there was a relationship between highly mobile students and highly mobile school leaders and teachers. High student mobility was often associated—and exacerbated—by high teacher mobility. Teachers who taught different subject area and longevity in the district revealed different experiences with student mobility. There is a need to bring the analysis discussion and its’ consequences to light in forming and revising school, district, and state policies. Growing levels of economic precariousness result in evidence of more students’ mobility which presents layers of complexity. It is recommended that more attention on the subject and its impact teachers informs the support systems for teachers; understand the impact of high student mobility on student achievement and teacher job satisfaction; and create policies that support more stable urban public middle schools.