Being cut off from good nutrition, health care and quality libraries is much more serious than being cut off from the web.
Sent to the NY Times, June 17.
Ford Foundation President Luis Ubiñas agrees that all public schools should have high-speed internet access ("Our Schools, Cut Off From the Web," June 17). I do too, but there is another task that is of much higher priority: Making sure that all American children are protected from the impact of poverty.
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, inadequate health care and little access to books; all of these have a profound negative impact on school achievement.
Next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless are of little help when children are hungry or ill. Being "cut off" from good nutrition, health care and quality libraries is much more serious than being cut off from the web.
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 achievement. 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. http://epicpolicy.org/publication/poverty-and-potential.
Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/17/opinion/our-schools-cut-off-from-the-web.html?_r=0