Children's kindergarten readiness improves

April 03, 2009|By SARA NEWFELD

Children's readiness for kindergarten has improved across Maryland, particularly in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, according to a new state report.

Each fall, the state tests incoming kindergartners' social and academic skills and judges whether they are "fully ready" to learn. In Baltimore, 65 percent of children tested met that standard, up from 57 percent at the start of last school year. In the county, 80 percent were judged ready, up from 73 percent the previous year. Statewide, 73 percent of children met the standard, compared with 68 percent a year prior.

The city is now approaching the statewide level and the county has surpassed it.When the assessment was first administered in 2001, the city's pass rate was 28 percent and the county's 32 percent, compared with a statewide level of 55 percent.

City officials say the improvement is linked to the expansion of prekindergarten programs.

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