The Impact of Providing Vision Screening and Free Eyeglasses on Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Title 1 Elementary Schools

  • The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of enhanced vision services provided by a local non-profit organization to Title 1 elementary schools in three large central Florida school districts.

  • A randomized control trial was done to evaluate the vision of 4th and 5th grade students.

  • A high percentage of students assessed need glasses but either do not have them or have them but do not wear them frequently.

  • 1,760 of the 5,747 students failed the screening and probably have untreated vision problems.

  • 86% of the students who fail a screening in the screen-only schools need glasses to have their vision corrected.

  • At least one in four students in low-income schools have untreated (or undertreated) vision problems.

  • The lack of information and/or lack of access to vision care are the reasons for low vision among low-income students in central Florida.

  • No evidence for vision problems effect on students’ academic performance as students with vision or without problems tend to have similar test scores.

Publication date

July 12, 2016


Paul Glewwe, Kristine West and Jongwook Lee
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