The school districts within Kent ISD have committed to participate in the new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, or the KRA, which was administered last fall in Kent County. The assessment was developed by Johns Hopkins University and West Ed and is already utilized on a statewide basis in Ohio and Maryland. In Michigan, the assessment is being rolled-out for implementation over three years, and Kent ISD was within the first cohort to utilize the measure with other areas of the state following over the next two falls.
Even before a child enters Kindergarten, research shows that students living in poverty often trail behind their peers. Early childhood education programs act as a countermeasure to barriers in opportunity, and the KRA can help determine what gaps need to be closed.
Public act 108 of 2017 (MCL 388.1704) requires all public school districts to administer the KRA to incoming kindergarten students. Districts must assess at minimum 35 percent of students and the initial rollout occurs in three phases.
This assessment is designed to measure physical, social, and academic readiness for incoming kindergarten students in four domains: language and literacy, mathematics, social foundations, and physical well-being and motor development. The assessment is conducted shortly after students begin kindergarten and students are assessed in three different categories:
- Observations of student behavior
- Performance tasks & group activities
- Selected response questions conducted 1:1 with students
The KRA administration takes approximately 40-60 minutes per student, and to support administration regional trainings are available to teachers each spring.
The 2018/2019 school year was the first year that Kent ISD administered the KRA. Never before has there been a standardized, district-wide assessment to gauge the readiness of incoming Kindergarten students. Kent ISD Superintendent Ron Caniff said,
“Our teachers and staff worked hard this year to administer this assessment to our students, and the data that it has provided is invaluable. It provides a consistent measure of where students begin their K-12 education journey when they first enter our doors.”
One of KConnect’s Success Measures is Kindergarten Readiness. We stand by the idea that if a student is born healthy, is developmentally on track, and has access to equitable and affordable preschool opportunities, they will be more likely to demonstrate the skills needed to be considered ready for Kindergarten. The data is clear – students who are ready for Kindergarten are more likely to be successful during their school career and beyond, which is why we consider it a foundational measurement.
We are excited to announce that data from the 2018/2019 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is now populated on KConnect’s data dashboard. Having this data publicly available allows our partners and the community to understand the racial and economic disparities and make data-driven decisions on their work moving forward.
Study: The Costly Consequences of Not Being Socially and Behaviorally Ready by Kindergarten by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium
Kent ISD Website