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Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 3/5

16 Aug

Hunger is not the only factor that must be dealt with before a child is ready to cooperate with his teachers and learn.

According to Hope for the Homeless, 1.5 million children in America go to sleep without a home each year, and says, “Children without homes are twice as likely to experience hunger as other children. Two-thirds worry they will not have enough to eat. More than one-third of homeless children report being forced to skip meals,” and “Homelessness makes children sick. Children who experience homelessness are more than twice as likely as middle class children to have moderate to severe acute and chronic health problems.”

In addition, USA Today reports that the FBI says, “Criminal gangs in the US have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials… The report says about 900,000 gang members live “within local communities across the country,” and about 147,000 are in U.S. prisons or jails.

One example is Detroit Michigan, which is consistently ranked as the most dangerous city in the United States with high violent and property crime rates every year.

In addition, forty-four percent (44%) of youth gang membership are Hispanic-Latino while thirty-five percent (35%) are Black-African American youths.  Only 14% are Caucasian and 5% Asian. Source: OJJDP.gov

This may help explain why Caucasions and Asian students have achieved the NCLB benchmarks while Hispanic-Latino and Black-African American youths have not.

Membership in these street gangs is highest in Los Angeles, California with more than 100,000 youth gang members. When other children that do not belong in streets gangs live in the same area, life is not safe for anyone.

However, poverty also plays a significant role in holding children back.

Continued on August 17, 2011, in Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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