The Negative Cycle of Student Immobilization

During a time of heated intolerance of public charter schools, we are reminded of those who ultimately suffer the consequences of limited school choice. The potential decline of school choice due to struggles over student revenue are sharpening the impact on those trapped in the poorest of neighborhoods.

Multiple studies show that the majority of those born into the poorest of neighborhoods are most likely to not only remain in those neighborhoods throughout adulthood but are also likely to move down at least one economic level from their parents.

Education may be the single most effective contributor to mobility from these neighborhoods that suffer high crime rates, unemployment and community health issues. Neighborhood schools struggle with the very same issues of crime and lack of safety, sometimes impacting the time allotted to instruction and achievement. Public charter schools have emerged in many of these neighborhoods and nearby communities to create effective alternative schooling options that are structured to offer lower class size and overall smaller school sites.

Proposed Assembly Bills and other anti-charter school initiatives as part of a grasp for attendance revenues, minimize these alternative public school options and create less choice for children in these neighborhoods, forcing them to attend the local school and remain in these neighborhoods into adulthood. This lack of school choice helps to perpetuate the cycle of immobilization out of these neighborhoods for diversified opportunities.

Offering school choice in communities such as these is the ultimate key to disrupting the persistent issue of stagnation and economic immobility.


student immobility infographic

Dr. Jessica Spallino
Dr. Jessica Spallino
Jessica has a demonstrated track record of building schools that are forward-thinking, high-performing, and often unconventional. She is particularly experienced at building online and blended learning charter schools, and has a passion for improving K-12 education through new and innovative models and concepts. She’s regularly asked to speak on change management and building positive and innovative cultures in schools and in the workplace. Jessica holds a BA in English, an MA in Educational Leadership, and holds PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.

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