For Immediate Release: July 27, 2023
Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Update for 2022-23 shows students made gains, came closer to reaching pre-pandemic levels
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) released today the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Update for the 2022-23 school year, which showed students made gains during the past year, coming closer to reaching pre-pandemic achievement levels.
Kindergarteners and pre-K students take a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment in the fall and spring of each school year. In fall 2022, 34.9% of kindergarteners scored kindergarten ready. When they were retested in spring 2023, 61.4% met the end-of-year target score, an increase over 57.7% in spring 2022. Before the pandemic in spring 2019, 65.6% of kindergartners met the target score.
“The gains made among the state’s youngest students speak to the effectiveness of early childhood educators to intervene and accelerate learning and the impact of the state’s investment into these programs,” said Dr. Ray Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “The MDE is committed to giving teachers additional support to produce continued growth.”
For pre-K students in MDE’s Early Learning Collaboratives (ELC), 64.8% met the end-of-year target score in spring 2023, compared to 65.1% in spring 2022. In spring 2019, before the pandemic, 76.9% of ELC pre-K students met the target score. For pre-K students in other public pre-K programs, 64.5% met the end-of-year target score in spring 2023, compared to 61.5% in spring 2022 and 69.3% in spring 2019.
The slight decrease in achievement among ELCs this year could be attributed to the onboarding of a record number of 12 new ELCs with a total of 5,119 students tested for the 2022-23 school year compared to 2,755 students tested in spring 2022. The number of students tested in other pre-K programs dropped to 4,914 in spring 2023 from 6,112 in spring 2022. The MDE gives coaching support to pre-K teachers in ELCs to bolster achievement. The coaches help teachers develop a professional learning plan that will include strategies so more students succeed.
The MDE has outlined specific guidance for school districts on ways to improve outcomes. At the agency level, the MDE will implement various strategies such as Science of Reading and Regional Literacy Trainings statewide for paraprofessionals and K-5 teachers, offer coaching about effective interventions to kindergarten and first-grade teachers, and provide professional development on Kindergarten Readiness reports to inform targeted small group instruction.
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment provides parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school. Teachers use the results as an instructional baseline to tailor classroom instruction and other services for pre-K and kindergarten students. The assessment also measures how well pre-K programs prepare 4-year-old children to be ready for kindergarten.
View the assessment results at mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Assessment/2022-23.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.