Most Mississippi kindergartners enter school unprepared, test results show

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Results are in for the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) fall 2019 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.

The test evaluates early literacy skills, and is used to determine the level at which students enter kindergarten.

Students are tested on their ability to identify letters and sound, shapes, colors, numbers, and words around the home. The test also assesses the student’s ability to read simple words, identify story patterns, phonics, and more.

According to results, the percentage of students scoring kindergarten-ready in fall 2019 is 36.56%. The percentage of students scoring not kindergarten-ready is 63.44%.

The increase of students entering kindergarten ready from 2018 is small, at 36.13%. In 2017, 36.91% were ready, according to the assessment.

Being kindergarten-ready is based on a benchmark score of 530. According to MDE, research shows that 85% of students who score 530 or above on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment are on track to become proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade.

The statewide average score in fall 2019 is 502.

“High-quality early childhood education prepares children for success in kindergarten and has a positive impact on academic achievement throughout a child’s education,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright.

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