Health Barriers to Learning and the Education Opportunity Gap. Progress of Education Reform. Volume 15 Issue 3Reportar como inadecuado

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Education Commission of the States

Education is a critical pathway by which children can rise out of the cycle of poverty. Billions of dollars are invested annually in America's public schools and considerable improvement has been made in academic achievement and educational attainment. However, certain school-aged cohorts--entire communities of youth--have been left behind. An under-appreciated fact is that these same youth are disproportionately affected by a constellation of health problems that subvert their motivation and impair their ability to learn. Scientists and stakeholders agree that students must be healthy to be ready to learn. This report discusses: (1) A brief history of school health in America; (2) Why is school health important for school reform?; and (3) What do policymakers need to know? Next steps. The key takeaways from this report are: (1) Health barriers to learning affect millions of American youth, disproportionately affecting low-income and minority youth; (2) School health is not a panacea for improving academic achievement among America's most vulnerable children, but it is an underutilized and highly promising strategy to help children break out of the cycle of poverty by increasing access to educational opportunity; and (3) The rising healthcare costs that threaten America's economic security, and low levels of fitness and high levels of obesity that threaten America's military readiness, are additional rationales for schools to address health.

Descriptors: Barriers, Access to Education, Disproportionate Representation, At Risk Students, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational History, School Health Services, Child Health, Low Income Groups, Minority Group Students, Access to Health Care, Public Education, Educational Change, Racial Differences, Ethnic Groups, Diseases, Visual Impairments, Gender Differences, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Physical Activity Level, Incidence, Educational Policy

Education Commission of the States. ECS Distribution Center, 700 Broadway Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3692; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail: ecs[at]; Web site:

Autor: Basch, Charles E.; Gracy, Delaney; Johnson, Dennis; Fabian, Anupa


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