Learning Resources

Kindergarten Readiness: States Solid on Math, Reading but Lag on Approaches to Learning

A comprehensive analysis of kindergarten readiness standards across all 50 states revealed that while states fare well in general on assessing readiness, they lag in one important domain: approaches to learning.

The Kindergarten Readiness Report, issued April 21 by Glendale, CA-based Age of Learning, creator of ABCmouse.com, revealed substantial common ground among state kindergarten readiness standards, with 15 skills (including literacy, math and physical health) that 85 percent or more of states would like to see children acquire before entering kindergarten.

The report indicated that 100 percent of states have established specific standards in language, literacy, cognitive skills and math.

However, the states vary widely when it comes to approaches to learning. About 74 percent of states included “shows curiosity to learn” as a key approach to learning. Only 70 percent mentioned “persistence” as a key approach, 64 percent included “shows ability to concentrate,” and 60 percent articulated “shows flexibility and inventiveness” as a key approach.

In the cognitive and math domain, 92 percent of states included the ability to sort and classify objects by more than one attribute (size, color, shape and texture). But only 22 percent of states recognized problem-solving ability as an important trait, 20 percent focused on reasoning abilities, and only 18 percent of states looked for students’ ability to explore cause and effect relationships.

In correlation with the readiness analysis and National Kindergarten Day, Age of Learning also launched on April 21 an in-depth Kindergarten readiness assessment tool, which parents can use with the ABCmouse curriculum to help better prepare children for kindergarten. The assessment tool, priced at $39.99, was developed with guidance from SRI International, an education and assessment research organization, and NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent research institution.

“Kindergarten readiness is a critical indicator of long-term success in school,” said Rebecca Palacios, a National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee and curriculum board member at Age of Learning, in a prepared statement.

Patricia Lozano, an independent educational consultant, is the author of the readiness report, titled “What It Means to Be Kindergarten Ready in the U.S.” It is available at ageoflearning.com/KR.

Age of Learning is developing a teacher’s edition of its assessment tool, which will be free in classrooms, as well as an ABCmouse for Schools program to be sold to school districts.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].