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Kindergarten Readiness

The percentage of composite scores for Maryland Kindergarten students based on their readiness in the domains of the Maryland Kindergarten Assessment.

Percentage of Composite Scores for Maryland Kindergarten Students Based on Their Readiness in the Domains of the Maryland Kindergarten Assessment, by Fiscal Year
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Full Readiness 58% 60% 67% 68% 73% 78% 81% 83% 82% 83%
Approaching Readiness 35% 34% 28% 28% 24% 19% 16% 15% 15% 15%
Developing Readiness 6% 6% 5% 4% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3% 3%

Data Source: Data compiled by the Maryland State Department of Education

Story Behind the Data:

The Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) Kindergarten Assessment results for FY2014 indicate that Maryland students entering kindergarten during the year were substantially more ready for a K-12 school career than those entering kindergarten during the MMSR baseline year of FY2002.  The percentage of kindergartners rated by their teachers as being overall “fully ready” for school rose from 49% in FY2002 to 83% in FY2014, an increase of 34 percentage points.  Similar gains in kindergarteners’ full readiness during the same period were seen across all seven learning domains, most notably in language and literacy (up 37 percentage points); mathematical thinking (up 36 percentage points); and scientific thinking (up 48 percentage points).

The upward trend in school readiness since FY2002 has also been steadily reflected for all kindergarten student subgroups.  Improvement of overall full readiness among low-income children and children with disabilities has been significant.  Between FY2002 and FY2014, overall full readiness scores for these sub-groups have risen, respectively, from 34% to 77%, and 30% to 56%.  The increase for English language learners since FY2002 is 37 percentage points (35% to 72%) for overall full readiness and 35 percentage points (22% to 57%) for full readiness in language and literacy.  Overall full readiness scores for African-American kindergarteners jumped from 37% to 80%, while Hispanic/Latino children’s scores rose from 39% to 73%.

During the past decade, Maryland has directed substantial resources toward improving the quality and availability of public and regulated early-care and education programs, and a comparison of MMSR scores from FY2002 to FY2014 indicates the positive effects of these efforts.  The overall full readiness scores of children enrolled in licensed child care centers and family child care homes increased from 45% to 89%, and 45% to 79%, respectively.  Full readiness scores for children enrolled in public prekindergarten and Head Start each improved by more than thirty percentage points.

On a narrower timescale, however, MMSR Assessment results from F2014 were virtually the same as the results from FY2013 and FY2012, suggesting that the occurrence of further significant school readiness gains will require re-examination of children’s early-care and education needs (particularly those of children with high needs) and the adoption of innovative approaches to meet those needs.  To this end, the local early childhood advisory councils, established under Maryland’s Race to the Top/Early Learning Challenge Grant, will be critical in developing strategies to continue working toward full school readiness by all Maryland children.