A school in Orlando, Florida, is giving new meaning to the adage "visualize your success." For Mollie Rae Elementary, which went from a F to an A on the state rating system in just one year, focusing on pupil achievement was just one part of the winning formula. Turns out the school needed actual visual help, too, in the form of prescription eyeglasses for many of its pupils' pupils. "We tested 100 percent of our (530) students with the help of [University of South Florida]," explained principal Kathryn Shuler. "We found that some of the students weren't improving because they couldn't see." Squinting students couldn't make out the homework on the board or the words in their text books. If only school improvement were always this straightforward. Unfortunately, Mollie Rae's pupils might not be the only ones who need some ocular assistance. With 62 percent of Florida public schools receiving As on state metrics, but only 23 percent making Adequate Yearly Progress according to NCLB calculations, state administrators might want to check their own glasses.
"Glasses Help School Go From F To A," Click Orlando, June 18, 2009