Saturday, December 13, 2008

Poverty, the Dropout Rate and the Achievement Gap

While some claim poverty has only a small impact on dropout rates and the achievement gap, research, anecdotal evidence and common sense prove otherwise.

Essay Cites Poverty, Nutrition, Health As Obstacles To Closing Achievement Gaps In Texas.

The Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram (12/12, Frazier) reports, Students in Texas "from poor families continue to perform worse in school than their classmates, according to research released Thursday by the Center for Public Policy Priorities." An essay in the State of Texas Children 2008-09 report titled Closing the Educational Gaps "cites...poverty, nutrition, and health" as "statewide factors [that] are pivotal in academic achievement." According to the essay, "Texas has more poor children than most states," and "poor children are more likely to drop out of school." Regarding nutrition, the essay claims that "children without enough to eat lack the fuel to learn, have lower levels of academic achievement and are less likely to be in school." Moreover, "sick children cannot learn well, and Texas' uninsured rate exceeds that of every other state," the essay says.

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