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Preliminary development of a kindergarten school readiness assessment for Latino students

The low achievement of students from non-English-speaking households living in low socioeconomic contexts is associated with academic skill gaps evident at kindergarten entry. Yet, few cost-effective, valid instruments are available to assess these students' school readiness. To examine this topic, this longitudinal study followed 1,069 primarily Latino students (536 males, 553 females) in a midsized school district. Teachers used the Kindergarten Student Entrance Profile (KSEP) to rate students' school readiness at entry into kindergarten and measures of reading skills and of performance on state standardized assessments were collected through the end of Grade 2. Latent-variable path analysis examined whether students' school readiness ratings predicted midkindergraten phonological awareness and reading fluency at the end of Grades 1 and 2. KSEP scores significantly predicted midkindergarten phonological awareness (standardized path coefficient of .40) and end of Grade 1 reading fluency (standardized path coefficient of .17), beyond what was explained by midkindergarten phonological awareness skills. Additional analyses examined the practical implications of these findings. Students were placed into 5 categories on the basis of their total scores on the California Standards Test (CST) score (far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced). Students who performed better on the CST assessment (English/language arts and mathematics) at the end of Grade 2 had significantly higher KSEP ratings at kindergarten entry than did students with lower CST scores. This collaborative research project provides an example of how a district-community-university partnership can lead to research that contributes to ongoing systems change. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers
United States
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