Health Barriers And Education (Limitless Possibilities)

How important is education? According to a recent Georgetown University report – almost 97 percent of the “good jobs” created since 2010 have gone to college grads. Good jobs were described as ones with a median income of more than $42,700.

The Education Commission of the States also recently released a report on the importance of education calling it, “a critical pathway by which children can rise out of the cycle of poverty.” But the ECS report suggests there are academic achievement gaps among students of different races and economic circumstances and that health could be a major cause of those gaps.

A Seattle Times news article indicated researchers compared the prevalence of various health issues, such as vision, hearing, asthma, low rates of physical activity and ADHD, across different ethnic and economic groups.

From the Times story:

“Among the findings: Nearly 11 percent of Hispanic students have some form of uncorrected sight problems, compared with 8.4 percent of black students and 5 percent of white students. More than 27 percent of black, high-school girls report they are sedentary, compared with 23 percent of Hispanic girls and 16 percent of white girls.

Low-income students fared even worse in several categories. Among students with family income below the poverty level, 12 percent had uncorrected vision problems. The prevalence of ADHD was also higher in students from low-income families (11.7 percent among those with incomes lower than $35,000 and 8.8 percent for those making more than $100,000).”

The report proposes that improving school health could help bridge that gap. Though researchers admit “School health is not a panacea for improving academic achievement among America’s most vulnerable children,” they do believe, ” it is an underutilized and highly promising strategy to help children break out of the cycle of poverty by increasing access to educational opportunity.”

Share your thoughts on how you think we can bridge these education gaps….allowing more students an opportunity to join the 97 percent who are finding the best new jobs. And the more we talk about better health in Arizona  – the closer we get to our vision of one day making this the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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