Assessment Shows Many Md. Children Ready For Kindergarten

But MSDE says more than half are not.


Baltimore, Md (KM). When it comes to readiness for kindergarten, a large percentage of Maryland’s children make the grade. The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment for 2018 has found that 47% are ready for their first experience in school. That’s an increase from 45% in 2017-2018, and from 43% in 2016-2017.

The KRA results also show that 59% of Frederick County’s children were prepared for kindergarten.

Bill Reinhard, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, says this assessment is conducted by kindergarten teachers from  the first day of school to  early October, 2018. “We take a look at how students are dong when they reach kindergarten. Because we know when a student comes into kindergarten fully prepared, they’ll do a better job. They’ll not only do a better job in kindergarten, but a better job in first grade, second grade and thereafter,” he says.

Even though there is progress when it comes to kindergarten readiness, Reinhard says there is more  work to do. “But still we  have a long way to go. That means 50% of our students are not ready based on the assessment,” he says.

The assessment shows that 33% of the students are approaching readiness, displaying some of the foundational skills and behaviors that prepare them for the kindergarten curriculum. “They have demonstrated in the couple of the areas, but they may  have some issues perhaps in social and emotional areas of school,” says Reinhard.

In addition, 20% of the students are described as emerging readiness. “Students are just starting  to know how to work on the kindergarten level,” he says. “Many of those students come from an environment that doesn’t prepare them very well,” he says.

But the assessment finds 53% of the students, a majority, do not demonstrate all the knowledge, skills and behaviors to be successful when entering school. “They don’t know their numbers, one through ten. They might have difficulty with their ABC’s,” says Reinhard. “Parents and pre-k teachers have an enormous role to play in getting kids ready for kindergarten.”

According to the assessment, the number one county for having kids ready for kindergarten is Worcester with 66%; followed by Carroll County with 61%. The percentages of other counties in the region are Howard with 56%; Montgomery with 54% and Washington with 43%. The jurisdictions with the lowest rate of students prepared for kindergarten are Prince George’s County and Baltimore City, both at 39%,


By Kevin McManus