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Academic Risk and Resilience among Homeless and Highly Mobile Children.

The achievement of homeless and highly mobile children in urban schools has profound significance for regional and national policies and programs aimed at closing achievement gaps among school children and fostering positive development and success for all children. Many of the children at risk for academic and related problems in urban districts are highly mobile. Data recently reported by the Minneapolis Public Schools indicates large gaps between homeless and high-mobility students and other students in the district on attendance and achievement scores. And in the Twin Cities, as elsewhere, homeless and highly mobile children are disproportionately from minority cultural and ethnic groups. Addressing the large achievement gap between low-income and other children in the Minneapolis school district is unlikely until the issue of school success among homeless and high-mobility children is addressed. Ann S. Masten (Institute of Child Development) will lead a collaborative team of University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Public School researchers who, working with shelter providers, will analyze predictors and patterns of achievement and attendance among homeless and high-mobility students. Using state-of-the-art longitudinal analyses and three years of data across all grades in the district, the team will examine patterns of academic difficulties and resilience over time. Data will show how key factors are related to changes over time in achievement, including attendance. Additionally, the team will collect more detailed data about a group of 5- and 6-year-olds living in a homeless shelter to examine more closely the risks and protective factors for successful school transitions. Findings will inform district initiatives to address achievement gaps and mobility issues, and also broader community efforts to promote success among homeless and high-mobility children.

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Minneapolis Public Schools
Reports and related files
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737