The notion that children cannot achieve academic excellence without good health, a supportive social circle, and a safe environment seems common sense to families and educational policy makers alike.
Yet, for many years, society has portioned out the care of children to different stakeholders. Schools were responsible for educating, doctors and nurses for promoting health, parents and extended families for providing nurture, and a variety of government agencies for regulating and improving the physical environment. On a parallel course, governments have portioned out to different agencies responsibility for different tasks: schools educate, social services help the needy, urban planning develops good housing, and so on. Quite often, the right hand does not know what the left hand was doing, so that agencies might be working at crosspurposes, for example, a school board closing schools in an area targeted for redevelopment. In addition, common efforts at the city, county, state, and federal level might lack coordination.