Mike Smith got it started by asking how many audience members had health insurance, had brought their kids to the pediatrician or the dentist, etc. And he said that just miles from here, kids die "every day" from complications from cavities. (OK, that's hyperbole, but we'll let it pass.)
Low income kids have one-third the vocabulary of middle income kids at the start of school, he said. They are never going to catch up if we give them the same education as other kids. (And he knows; he worked on the Coleman Report!)??
It doesn't mean that schools aren't responsible, or shouldn't be working very hard , or that teachers are going to let down if attention is paid to "these things," he said.
But it??does mean that groups of people, including policy analysts and people in the legislature, should have a broader vision of this. The education groups and new education secretary should be behind S-CHIP (the health insurance program for kids) in a big way. It's also issues around school safety, community safety, the minimum wage.
We are being MORE responsible by thinking about the whole child, protecting them from the kinds of things...