Only 43 percent of Maryland's youngest students were ready for kindergarten when they entered school this August, according to state test results.
The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, given this past year to a sample of children in most school districts, showed that 51 percent of Carroll County students demonstrated skills they needed, the highest performance in the Baltimore region.
The state shortened the test this year after teachers criticized the length of time it took to administer the test to each student individually. School districts also were given the option of administering the test to a sample of students. The test had to be given before October 1.
Eight districts, including Baltimore City, continued to give it to every kindergarten student. In the city, only 38 percent of students were considered ready for school. Another 40 percent of kindergartners scored in the "approaching" readiness category. Forty-one percent of Baltimore County students, 50 percent of Howard County students, 45 percent of Anne Arundel County and 42 percent of Harford County students scored in the ready category.
In Garrett County, which gave the test to everyone, the readiness percentage was 63 percent, the highest in the state.
The test measures academic readiness in language and math, as well as social skills, motor development and physical well-being.