Report shows Maryland kindergartners are less ready for class than pre-pandemic

Meter Hero Class
Posted at 4:11 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 16:12:47-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland State Department of Education on Tuesday released its Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.

All of the state's 24 school districts reported lower readiness scores than in 2019–2020.

Enrollment in pre-K last school year declined by 25 percent, and most who attended did so virtually.

“This year’s data show our youngest learners are in great need of support, especially English learners, children with disabilities, and children from low-income families. Simply returning to normal will not be good enough to recover and accelerate student learning coming out of the pandemic,” said State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury.

Kindergarten teachers administer the assessment to students during the first few months of school. It measures student skills, knowledge, and behaviors in language and literacy, mathematics, social foundations, and physical well-being and motor development.

Overall, 40 percent of Maryland kindergartners entered classrooms prepared to fully participate, which is a 7-point decrease from the 2019–2020 school year.

Another 33 percent are approaching readiness and may require additional instruction based on their individual strengths and needs.

The remaining 27 percent are identified as emerging and will require targeted supports or interventions to be successful in kindergarten.

Of the more than 60,600 children who entered kindergarten in Maryland’s public schools this year, 30 percent are African American and 23 percent are Hispanic.

Overall, 33 percent of African American kindergartners demonstrate readiness, down from 42 percent last year.

As for Hispanic kindergartners, 19 percent were found to demonstrate readiness, a decline 26 percent the year prior.

Readiness is down for White kindergartners as well from 60 percent last year in 2019-2020 to 56 percent now.

Children who are not from low-income families demonstrate higher levels of readiness (46%) than children who are from low-income families (23%). The readiness gap between these two groups has increased to 23-percentage points, from 16-percentage points in 2019–2020.

This school year, 9 percent of children entering kindergarten have an identified disability and receive services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP), 17 percent of which demonstrated readiness

A more detailed analysis of the results, can be found here.