"All of this is old news," Basch said. What's new, he said, is research on how these conditions work together to impair educational outcomes. The combined effect of the seven is synergistic, he said, creating a crisis that is more than the sum of its parts.
So what must happen to change that picture?
"The most important thing is not do just one thing," Basch said. "Instead, we must address a set of priorities simultaneously."
The country needs a national school health strategic plan, Basch said. Yet because education in America is so decentralized, planning must also go on at the local level. Health related measures must be integrated into school accountability mechanisms, and health goals must become part of individual school improvement plans.
For his part, Yale who previously worked with Duncan in Chicago said coordination between government agencies on health issues has been improving, as evidenced in particular by the federal response to last year's H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak. That effort brought together USDOE, CDC, the U.S Department of Agriculture and others, with education officials helping to write CDC guidelines.
"I don't think we're siloed anymore," he said.
|Contact: Patricia Lamiell|
Teachers College, Columbia University