Andres Oppenheimer asks why “Latin America, U.S. do lousy on student math tests,” in his Dec. 8 column.
It’s not because of family culture or lack of commitment: Research consistently concludes the real problem is poverty.
High poverty means food deprivation, lack of health care, and lack of access to reading material, all of which have shown as having devastating effects on school performance and test scores.
Until we eliminate poverty, let’s invest in food programs, school nurses, and libraries and at least protect children from some of the effects of poverty.
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Rossier School of Education,
Unversity of Southern
California, Los Angeles