Monday, December 29, 2008

Hunger Hurts School Performance

The link between poverty, hunger and poor school performance is well-documented, and sensible - how can children learn when their focus is on their stomachs?

A new statewide report highlighted in the El Paso and Fort Worth media shows how Texas schools must attend to the physical needs of under-performing children as well as their minds.

The number of El Paso children living in poverty between 2000 and 2005 increased from 34 percent to 40 percent, according to the El Paso Times. Only about 80 percent of these students passed the reading section of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, or TAKS, test.

Similar trends hold in Fort Worth. "If lawmakers really want to improve the chances of educational success," opined the Star-Telegram, "they’ll have to be willing to invest more in healthcare, jobs and other support systems for Texas’ children and families."

(See more research on the effects of hunger on schoolchildren here: 1, 2, 3, 4)

No comments: