Why Can’t Johnny Read?

September 2010 / Abell Reports / Education, Health and Human Services

Baltimore’s school-based vision-screening program may be leaving thousands of children with uncorrected eyesight problems. Six recommendations for strengthening the vision screening system in Baltimore City Public Schools.

Vision screening in public schools is essential for students to learn, especially when low-income children face a high rate of eyesight problems and have poor access to health care. Left undetected and uncorrected, vision problems can interfere with reading and other visual skills that are critical to academic success. Unfortunately, Baltimore’s students are disadvantaged by a vision-screening system that is so understaffed and underfunded that hundreds go without state-mandated eye tests and thousands more who fail vision-screening tests may not be getting necessary glasses.