Here’s what I’ve learned from this report.
1. Unhealthy kids are poor students. If we want our kids to be successful academically, then we have to focus on non-academic matters as well. Let's stop arguing about whether that's the role of the schools, parents, or others. It's ridiculous to expect kids to acquire academic skills and not deal with these other issues.
2. Focus on what matters. This CDC report is a roadmap to what's important. The indicators that most highly correlated with academic performance are certain types of substance abuse, sexually risky behavior, violence, and suicide. Let's integrate these topics into the school curriculum.
Kids who fail in school have a greater likelihood of failing in life. We know what to do. Let’s do what we know.
Next Week: What’s wrong with praising our kids?