News Education SPI

James F. McDonnell Foundation awards $255k to study student mobility in St. Louis

As a part of the St. Louis Research Practice Collaborative (SRPC) and in partnership with St. Louis University, Jason Jabbari, research assistant professor with the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, has joined a team that received a $255k grant awarded by the James F. McDonnell Foundation for research on student mobility. The project, “Understanding and Addressing the Challenges of Student Mobility in St. Louis City,” will investigate the causes and consequences of the large number of students who change schools in the St. Louis area. This research was identified as a priority by local practitioners through an emerging research-practice partnership.

While previous research has highlighted the high rates of student mobility in urban areas, little is known about the causes and consequences of these moves beyond changes in housing, as well as where students move in and out of—especially when these moves occur across counties. Jabbari will use student-level data from Missouri to explore student mobility for a cohort of students from kindergarten to 12th grade across five St. Louis area counties: St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, and Franklin County. Local practitioners, as well as key stakeholders and policymakers in the area, will then use these findings to inform practices and policies that directly affect St. Louis area students and families.

The research project is the first of its kind, a cross-sector collaboration in St. Louis between universities, schools and research institutes. The collaboration is between Evan Rhinesmith, principal investigator and director of Research and Evaluation SLU PRiME Center; Jason Jabbari, research assistant professor of SPI and co-chair of the SRPC data committee; Harris-Stowe State University, SKIP DesignEd, and the St. Louis Research Practice Collaborative (SRPC). Washington University researchers include Mark Hogrebe, educational researcher and statistician in the Department of Education, Yung Chun, assistant professor of research, and Takeshi Terada, senior data analyst.

The SRPC is comprised of educational administrators from across the city’s public school and public charters as well as local community organizations and researchers from regional universities. Partners in the collaborative include St. Louis Public Schools, KIPP Charter Schools, Confluence Academies, St. Louis University School of Education & PriME Center, Washington University and the Institute for School Partnership, Harris Stowe State University, UMSL Community Innovation and Action Center (CIAC), STEMSTL and the Social Policy Institute.