Half of Maryland students not fully ready for kindergarten

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Kindergarten classLess than half the students entering kindergarten in 2015 were fully ready, according to Maryland's new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, the results of which were released today in a report presented to the Maryland State Board of Education.

The data confirm last year’s results, when the entering kindergarteners were assessed using the new assessment for the first time, according to a press release from the Maryland State Department of Education.

The report, Readiness Matters! found that 45 percent of incoming students were fully prepared to begin kindergarten. Another 37 percent were “approaching” readiness, while 18 percent were “emerging.” The results also uncovered gaps in readiness between certain student groups. The report also includes insights into readiness and children’s experience with various forms of pre-K experience, according to a release from the State Department of Education. The results nearly mirror the outcomes from last year when 47 percent were fully ready.

County school system results

  • The report also included local school system results:
  • In Anne Arundel County — 46 percent of students demonstrated readiness, 38 percent were approaching readiness and 17 percent were emerging.
  • In Calvert County — 46 percent demonstrated readiness, 40 percent were approaching and 14 percent were emerging.
  • In Howard County — 54 percent demonstrated readiness, 34 percent were approaching and 12 percent were emerging.
  • In Prince George's County — 38 percent demonstrated readiness, 40 percent were approaching and 22 percent were emerging.
  • In Queen Anne's County — 51 percent demonstrated readiness, 37 percent were approaching and 12 were emerging.

Gaps in readiness

The statewide results also spotlight gaps in readiness. More than half of White and Asian-American children are entering kindergarten ready to learn — 56 and 52 percent, respectively. But only 41 percent of African-American students are fully prepared for kindergarten and just 27 percent of Hispanic students are kindergarten-ready. The data revealed that students from low-income households, those for whom English is a second language, and students with disabilities have special challenges.

The KRA also reveals gaps among low-, middle- and upper-income households. Just 33 percent of children who are eligible for free or reduced meals — the federal proxy for low-income — enter kindergarten fully prepared, while 55 percent of children from middle- and upper income families are ready for kindergarten.

The data also provide information on kindergarten readiness based on pre-K experience, including:

  • More than 50 percent of nonpublic nursery schools and childcare centers demonstrated readiness.
  • Nearly 44 percent of public pre-K programs demonstrated readiness.
  • 37 percent of children from family child care demonstrated readiness.
  • 33 percent of children from Head Start demonstrated readiness.
  • 29 percent of children who stay at home or are in informal care were found to be fully ready.

Click next below for what the assessment measures

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