Health and education are typically viewed as distinct topics from both the research and policy perspectives. Accordingly, the direct interactions between health status and education have been neglected in both research and policy making. The authors use survey data collected from students during the 1980s in Piaui, Ceara, and Pernambuco states as part of an evaluation of a major educational intervention program, EDURURAL, to investigate the complementarities of health with school attainment and cognitive achievement. A series of anthropometric measures for individual students in rural northeast Brazil are used in educational performance models. The promotion models and value-added achievement models both demonstrate the importance of students' visual acuity. Poor vision systematically leads to higher drop-out rates, more grade repetition, and lower achievement. The achievement models also point to the role of good nutrition.