NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED523998
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 109
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 615
Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap. Equity Matters. Research Review No. 6
Basch, Charles E.
Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University
No matter how well teachers are prepared to teach, no matter what accountability measures are put in place, no matter what governing structures are established for schools, educational progress will be profoundly limited if students are not "motivated and able to learn". Health-related problems play a major role in limiting the motivation and ability to learn of urban minority youth, and interventions to address those problems can improve educational as well as health outcomes. Healthier students are better learners. Recent research in fields ranging from neurosciences and child development to epidemiology and public health provide compelling evidence for the causal role that "educationally relevant health disparities" play in the educational achievement gap that plagues urban minority youth. This is why reducing these health disparities must be a fundamental part of school reform. School leaders must prioritize how to use scarce resources to address the critical health problems affecting youth. In this essay, three criteria were used for establishing priorities: prevalence and extent of health disparities negatively affecting urban minority youth; evidence of causal effects on educational outcomes; and feasibility of implementing proven or promising school-based programs and policies to address the health problem. Based on these criteria, seven educationally relevant health disparities were selected as strategic priorities: (1) "vision", (2) "asthma", (3) "teen pregnancy", (4) "aggression and violence", (5) "physical activity", (6) "breakfast", and (7) "inattention and hyperactivity". Many other health problems affecting youth are also important, and the particular health problems deemed most important in a given school or school district will vary. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Campaign for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University. Box 219, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 646-745-8282; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Campaign for Educational Equity