Kindergarten readiness numbers hold steady in Mississippi

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27 March 2019, Pencil cases and teaching materials are placed on school desks in an empty classroom in a primary school. Photo: Monika Skolimowska/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa (Photo by Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images)

JACKSON, Miss. — Fewer than four in 10 Mississippi children are considered academically ready for kindergarten — about the same share as in recent years.

The Mississippi Department of Education says 36.6% of children scored as kindergarten-ready on an assessment this fall.

The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment evaluates early literacy skills, including recognizing letters and matching letters to their sounds. Children are also tested on recognizing that print in English flows from left to right.

The education department said in a Nov. 12 news release that for each year from 2016 to 2018, more than 36% of children scored as kindergarten-ready.

The Mississippi Board of Education has set a goal of expanding access to high-quality early childhood education.

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