THE GROWING ACHIEVEMENT GAP - Dr. Joël Núñez

If you are like many Americans, you are concerned about the growing achievement gap between rich and poor children. It is the not-so-secret epidemic happening in plain sight. By 2020, more than 65% of American jobs will require at least a four-year college degree, meaning that less affluent children who are failing to do well in elementary and high school right now are preparing to be left out of economic opportunity and will continue the disastrous cycles of generational poverty, community violence, and mass incarceration.

"What is the government doing about this horrific problem?", some may ask. I contend the more important question is, "what is the average American parent willing to do?". Right at this very moment, summer learning loss is affecting millions of poor children who are "enjoying their summer vacation" without picking up a single book until September. "C'mon Dr. Núñez, you mean we should deprive our children of pool time, TV time, and running around time during the summer? Don't their brains need a break?" No and no! Of course kids need to exercise their bodies but we can be more intentional as adults about structuring their time so that their brains get proper exercise as well (and no, the brain gets all the rest it needs during sleep--it requires challenging cognitive activity during waking hours in order to grow smarter and more nimble).

If you really want to do something about the growing gap between rich and poor that's going to bite us all in the rear end in just five years, stop expecting the government to fix it....you and I can do something substantial right now.

Be well.

Joel Nunez