Sent to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan 14
What decades of research tells us
Re: Educators struggle to combat dropout rate disparities (January 14, 2013)
Here is what we know from decades of educational research:
A large percentage of minority students live in poverty.
Those who live in poverty have a hard time in school.
Those who live in poverty have inadequate nutrition, poor health care and little access to books. Each of these factors is associated with low school performance.
We can take a huge step forward by protecting students from some of the effects of poverty and we can do it immediately: invest more in school food programs, health care (e.g. more school nurses, basic dental and vision care) and school libraries and librarians.
Instead we are investing in higher standards and more tests. There is no research evidence showing that this will help students.