What the 2008-2009 school readiness data mean for Maryland’s children
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what the 2008-2009 school readiness data mean for Maryland’s children. March 2009. Maryland Model for School Readiness School Readiness Pays Rich Dividends.

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what the 2008-2009 school readiness data mean for Maryland’s children

March 2009


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenSchool Readiness Pays Rich Dividends

The Early years are a critical launching pad for school & life. They provide the greatest opportunity to nurture cognitive & social skills

90% of child’s brain growth happens by age 5

High-quality early learning programs, such as pre-K, provide proven benefits and more successfully prepare young children than home or informal programs

Early childhood programs offer a high “Return on Investment”

16% financial rate of return: fewer grade retentions, reduced need for special education, lower dropout and criminal activity rates, and a higher likelihood that a child will grow up to be a productive employee and taxpayer

Kindergarteners documented as “fully” school ready are 8 times more likely to get an “advanced” ranking on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) in reading and math than kindergartners with skill deficiencies (“developing” readiness)

Maryland needs to maximize the benefits

Pre-K currently serves only 36.7% of Maryland’s four-year-olds

and Arthur Rolnick, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenAbout the MMSR

The Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) is a body of standards and an assessment tool that teachers use at the start of each school year to assess and observe the school readiness of entering kindergartners in Maryland public schools.

MMSR measures what each child knows and is able to do in the seven “Domains of Learning”

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) annually releases both statewide and jurisdictional MMSR data

MMSR data:

Influence classroom instruction

Guide professional development

Promote better communication between school staff and families

Increase collaboration and coordination among ECE programs

Support the alignment of ECE and public school systems

and Arthur Rolnick, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenStatewide demographic data


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenExtraordinary jump in school readiness

Remarkable progress.73% of Maryland kindergartners are fully ready for school, a 24-point statewide increase in school readiness since 2001/02 and a 5-point increase since 2007/08.

More to do. More than 15,000 Maryland children (27%) need targeted or considerable support to do kindergarten work.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenMajor improvements across all Domains of Learning

Increased readiness. Maryland’s children are well-rounded, showing major improvements in all seven Domains of Learning.

Kindergartners demonstrate strongest readiness in the areas of:

Physical Development (82%)

The Arts (75%)

Social & Personal Development (71%)


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenImpact of early literacy efforts

Good news. The statewide and jurisdictional efforts that focusedon early language and literacy yielded large gains in the Language & Literacy Domain of Learning.

62% of Maryland’s kindergartners are fully ready in the area of language & literacy, up from 36% in 2001/02.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenNotable increases in math & science

Significant advances. 67% of Maryland kindergartners are fully ready in math, up from 40% in 2001/02, and 54% are fully ready in science, up from 24%.

Continued focus. Despite gains, readiness in science remains the lowest of all Domains and more than 26,000 children require support to do kindergarten work.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenGains in key Domains correlate to overall improvements

Secondary analysis reveals a high correlation between overall school readiness gains and improvements in cognitive Domains of Learning and key indicators.

Readiness in three “cognitive” Domains of Learning—language & literacy, mathematical thinking, and scientific thinking—results in higher full readiness levels

Three indicators have the greatest impact on school readiness:

- Demonstrates beginning phonemic awareness

- Comprehends and responds to fiction & non-fiction

- Using & explaining strategies to solve problems

Targeted focus in these areas may lead to further increases in Maryland’s overall school readiness.

and Arthur Rolnick, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenImpact on Maryland School Assessment

Continued academic success. Children who enter school fully ready to do kindergarten work in two key Domains of Learning (Language & Literacy and Mathematical Thinking) are more likely to be proficient on the Grade 3 Maryland School Assessment (MSA) in reading and math.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenGains among males and females

Significant progress. In the last 8 years, males (26-point improvements) and females (24-point improvements) made significant gains.

While only 69% of males are fully ready for school, they are within 4 points of the statewide average.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenImprovements among children of all ethnicities

Impressive progress. African American children made impressive strides (a 32-point gain since 2001/02) and narrowed the disparity with their white peers from 19 points in 2001/02 to 9 points in 2008/09.

Continued focus. While Hispanic children made noteworthy gains (a 24-point gain since 2001/02), only 63% of Hispanic children are fully school-ready.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenNoteworthy gains by English Language Learners

Tremendous progress. English Language Learners (ELL—children whose first language is not English) experienced a 25-point increase in full readiness since 2001/02.

ELL experienced a 22-point increase in the Language & Literacy Domain in the past eight years.

ELL status significant risk factor. ELL children are less likely to be fully ready than English-proficient children: 60% of ELL children were fully ready for school, compared with 75% of their English-proficient peers.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenGains among children from all income levels

Extraordinary gains. Low-income children (as indicated by Free and Reduced Price Meal status) experienced a 31-point gain in full readiness in the past eight years.

Challenges exist. 65% of low-income children are school-ready, compared with 79% of mid- to high-income children.

This year, more than 7,800 low-income and 7,500 mid- to high-income children required support to do kindergarten work.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenGains by children receiving special education services

Improvements seen. 47% of children receiving special education services were fully ready for school in 2008/09, a 4-point increase from last year and a 17-point increase from 2001/02.

Challenges exist. Children receiving special education services did not improve at the same rate as their peers: an 18-point difference in 2001/02 widened to a 29-point difference in 2008/09.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenProven benefits of pre-Kindergarten

Higher school readiness. The impact of Pre-K (serving mostly low-income children) on school readiness is evident: 75% of children who were enrolled in pre-K programs were fully school-ready, above the statewide average (73%).


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenHigh-quality early learning promotes school readiness

High-quality programs are crucial. Children who were enrolled in pre-K programs (75%), child care centers (77%) and non-public nursery schools (86%) the year prior to kindergarten exhibited higher school readiness levels than those who were at home or in informal care settings (63%) the year prior to kindergarten.


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenMajority of jurisdictions gain ground

17 jurisdictions improved their school readiness percentages from 2007/08.

7 jurisdictions experienced 25-point or higher improvements in full readiness in the past eight years, greater than the statewide gain of 24 points.

The largest eight-year gains were made by Baltimore County (41 points) and Baltimore City (37 points).


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenMajority of jurisdictions gain ground


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Maryland Model for School Readiness Maryland’s childrenMajority of jurisdictions gain ground

Impressive progress. Over the last eight years, 7 jurisdictions experienced 25-point or higher improvements in full readiness, greater than the statewide gain of 24 points.

The largest eight-year gains were made by Baltimore County (41 points) and Baltimore City (37 points).


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