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of the KRA
Region specific Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)
How School Readiness is Measured?
In 2014-2015, Maryland introduced Ready for Kindergarten (R4K): Maryland’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Assessment System to align with the State’s more rigorous PreK-12 College and Career-Ready Standards. R4K is a developmentally appropriate assessment system for young children that builds on the success of the Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR), which was the statewide assessment tool in use from 2001 to 2013.
R4K provides a single coordinated system for measuring the learning progress (knowledge, skills, and behaviors) and identifying the needs of young children. R4K has two components:
An Early Learning Assessment (ELA) measures the progress of learning in young children, 36 to 72 months (3 to 6 years old), across nine levels in seven domains: Language & Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Well-being & Motor Development, Science, Social Foundations, Social Studies, and The Arts.
A Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) measures the school readiness (knowledge, skills, and behaviors) of incoming kindergarteners in four learning domains: Language & Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Well-being & Motor Development, and Social Foundations.
Measuring Kindergarten Readiness
At the start of each school year, teachers use the KRA to measure kindergarten readiness by observing children during the day, asking them to answer selected-response items, and engaging them in performance-based activities. Kindergarten readiness levels are identified as:
Demonstrating Readiness – a child demonstrates the foundational skills and behaviors that prepare him/her for curriculum based on the kindergarten standards.
Approaching Readiness – a child exhibits some of the foundational skills and behaviors that prepare him/her for curriculum based on the kindergarten standards.
Emerging Readiness – a child displays minimal foundational skills and behaviors that prepare him/her for curriculum based on the kindergarten standards.
Children whose readiness knowledge, skills, and behaviors are “approaching” and/or “emerging” require differentiated instruction, as well as targeted supports or interventions to be successful in kindergarten.
Administering The KRA
Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) now uses a Census Administration of the KRA to all kindergarteners. Teachers administer the KRA to all incoming kindergarteners, assessing each student’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. This ensures that the kindergarten readiness results can be reported with confidence and accuracy, and guarantees equitability for teachers and are aligned with current teacher professional development and preparation practices.
Providing Critical Information
The KRA provides vital information about the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of children entering kindergarten classrooms. The KRA:
Benefits Children. Assessing students at the start of kindergarten is one way to identify the strengths and challenges of individual children. The information obtained enables teachers to effectively instruct each student and provide additional supports and interventions, where needed.
Assists Teachers. The KRA gives teachers rich information about each child’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and learning needs. The data help teachers monitor student progress toward the achievement of Maryland’s standards. The KRA enables Maryland’s teachers to differentiate instruction, provide support and practice where it is needed, address identified learning gaps of an individual child or groups of children, and better communicate with family members about their children.
Informs Families. Each assessed child’s readiness for school is described in the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment’s Individual Student Report (ISR). Teachers can use the ISR to initiate conversations with families about their child’s progress and suggest ways to support their child’s development at home.
Instructs Community Leaders and Policy Makers. Stakeholders at the community, jurisdictional, and state levels gain important information about how well-prepared their children are for kindergarten. This valuable information enables stakeholders to make well-informed programmatic, policy, and funding decisions to ensure that all children are fully prepared for kindergarten and school success.
Advises School Leaders and Early Childhood Programs. The data offer schools and programs information about the learning needs of children. It enables them to address any achievement gaps and plan appropriate supports or interventions. The data are also used to inform professional development, curricular enhancements, and appropriate transition practices.