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Robert L. Fischer, PhD
In the News
Nov 4 2015
In an editorial to the Cleveland Plain Dealer on November 1, Poverty Center Co-Director Dr. Rob Fischer discussed the magnitude of the problems from lead exposure on young children. Fischer cited an unpublished 2015 report from the Poverty Center with Cuyahoga County Invest In Children that shows an alarming 78% of the 620 children enrolled in the county’s universal pre-kindergarten program tested positive for lead in their bloodstreams.
Though there has been increased media attention on lead prevention and improving the lives of children during their early, developmental years, Fischer worries that officials in cities such as Cleveland, East Cleveland, and other older communities are ignoring the dangers by continuing old policies that don’t work and failing to enforce existing laws.
Dr. Fischer was also recently interviewed by the Plain Dealer for another article on effects lead poisoning can have on children’s early education.
Read Dr. Fischer’s full editorial: “Cities must get the lead out of housing to keep children from being poisoned“
Nov 3 2015
In the series “Toxic Neglect”, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has been running stories on the problems of lead poisoning on young children. Dr. Robert Fischer, co-director of the Poverty Center, was interviewed for “Lead poisoning makes education harder for kids and teachers” on October 22, 2015.
“When they arrive in preschool they’re significantly behind developmentally,” said Dr. Fischer about children who test positive for lead in their blood. “That continues even after exposure to high-quality preschool environments. We’re not saying that high-quality early care doesn’t work with lead-exposed children, just that they need more than we’re currently offering them.”
The article also discussed the June 2015 report from the Poverty Center and Cuyahoga County Invest In Children on the effects lead poisoning has on kids in the county’s pre-kindergarten programs. All the children with lead in their blood did worse on every evaluation than those without lead poisoning. Also, those with higher lead levels did the worst. By the end of the year’s program, those with lead exposure were behind even the children who had never been tested were at the start of the year.
Though there are reports and evaluations showing the difficulties children with lead poisoning face in early education, the studies may not be having a big impact on the school district. Fischer noted that nothing is being tracked after kindergarten on how their learning may still be effected.
The Poverty Center has been examining the effects of lead poisoning and prevention for numerous years. Read our 2013 evaluation on Invest In Children’s lead prevention project.
The map above is from the unpublished June report: The Association between Elevated Blood Lead and School Readiness among Children attending Universal Pre-Kindergarten in Cleveland.
Aug 18 2015
In June, thirty community organizations spread out across Cuyahoga County to count the number of unaccompanied youth (without a parent or guardian) who are currently homeless or unstably housed. The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development worked with community partners to design the survey used to find out who these homeless youth are. Center staff then trained community workers in how to collect the data in a methodologically-sound and respectful way.
Read this brief report on the Youth Count. More detailed findings will be forthcoming.
The survey and resultant analysis were conducted by the following Center faculty and staff:
- Dr. Elizabeth R. Anthony, senior research associate
- Dr. Rob Fischer, co-director
- Dr. Seok-Joo Kim, post-doctoral fellow
- Yoonkyung Shin, Mandel School MSSA student research assistant
- Marci Blue, research assistant