Thursday, June 6, 2013

99% connected to the internet or 100% protected from the effects of poverty?

Sent to the Christian Science Monitor,  June 6.

Re: Obama wants faster Internet in US schools. Would you pay $5 a year for it? (June 6).
Twenty-three percent of American children now live in poverty, the second highest among 34 economically advanced countries. In comparison, Finland has less than 5.3% child poverty. Poverty means poor nutrition, hunger, and inadequate health care; all of these have a profound negative impact on school achievement.

Instead of 99 percent of American students connected to the internet with the lastest, but soon-to-be-obsolete technology, how about making sure that 100 percent of American children are protected from the impact of poverty? Next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless are of little help when children are hungry or ill.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Levels of child poverty: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (2012), ‘Measuring Child Poverty: New league tables of child poverty in the world’s rich countries’, Innocenti Report Card 10, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence.
Poverty means poor nutrition, hunger, inadequate health care, impact on school acheivement. Berliner, D. 2009. Poverty and Potential:  Out-of-School Factors and School Success.  Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit.

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