Why is it that there is a division among educators over the value of implementing Common Core to evaluate and improve the ability of our children to learn? Many educators believe it is a good program. Is the real issue the balance between state rights and federal rights? Has the Federal government usurped state rights in so many ways that this is push back? Do dedicated educators that want to do their job well see value, but there are those that don’t want federal guidelines to control the future of education in Arizona and other states?
Does the answer to the poor performance of children in the educational system lie elsewhere? Can children that are under nourished and poorly nourished acquire an inability to learn? Would school behavioral problems disappear if the children could focus on the educational task at hand and not think about being hungry or ill from lack of good nourishment? Would our teachers then accomplish what they want in helping the students excel at learning?
It would be beneficial if Governor Ducey and the Department of Education (Arizona) learn about how schools around the nation are turning underachievers into over achievers by having well-nourished attentive children in the class room.
What follows are the words of Dr. Leslie Matthews, the smartest brain surgeon around who implemented the first program of helping malnourished children learn.
The $1 million annually vitamin D/multivitamin nutrition program (2004-20009) that I started at my sister, Principal Bessie Matthews Gardner’s, Ruleville Central Elementary School in Ruleville, Mississippi in 2004 was the nation’s first according to Vitamin Angels president and founder, Howard Schiffer (see first link and video below).93% of the children in this area lived below the poverty level.
I am very glad to see that this program has grown to many cities and countries around the world since 2004. My simple hypothesis was that malnourished/vitamin deficient children have multiple social behavioral problems, poor school attendance, and can’t properly learn or focus.
“Serve First’s commitment to help reach children in the Mississippi Delta has now grown into a campaign in over 50 major cities and 22 countries around the world,” says Schiffer.
After only two years of receiving nutritional support from Univera, Gardner and school officials reported a drastic drop in student absences. While a total of 1,992 absences were recorded in 2005, that number dropped to just 92 in 2007. That’s over a 1,000% decrease in absenteeism! Suspensions and behavioral problems also decreased.
However, the greatest benefit of a parent-driven vitamin nutrition program was that the school went from being on probation (Level 1) to a Level 4 school (second highest academic level)in 1 year (see third link below).
I recently learned that the inaugural class in 2004 who were 4th graders, just graduated from Ruleville Central High School in May 2013. They have continued their academic projectory with many of them scoring in the high 20’s on their ACT Test (college entrance exam, highest score is 36). Most are going to college. Proper nutrition has lasting, long term positive effects.
1). Ruleville Elementary first program in the nation: http://servefirst.org/ruleville-ms
2). Youtube Video of Ruleville vitamin nutrition program 2004/2005: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnkXnaFZfmg&feature=youtube_gdata_player
3). Level 1 to Level 4: http://bguest.blogspot.com/2006/07/level-one-to-level-four.html?m=1
It’s time that Arne Duncan in Washington starts connecting the dots and address the basic core issues that prevent our children from learning.