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MSDE to Adopt New Kindergarten Assessment for School Readiness


Alex Reese, 443-826-3819

MSDE to Adopt New Kindergarten Assessment for School Readiness

Study concluded current KRA indicates potential bias.


BALTIMORE (February 28, 2024) – The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will be moving away from the current Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) after a study indicated potential bias in the current assessment against multilingual learners.

“Having an unbiased KRA assessment is an extremely important measure,” said Dr. Carey Wright, Interim State Superintendent of Schools. “It is part of the MSDE strategic plan, the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, and Governor Wes Moore’s newly released strategic plan. MSDE is committed to implementing a KRA assessment without biases as soon as possible in accordance with the Accountability and Implementation Board’s Blueprint Comprehensive Plan and Maryland law.”  

The KRA measures language and literacy, mathematics, social foundations, and physical well-being and motor development to determine school readiness of incoming kindergarteners. The assessment is administered to incoming kindergarteners during the first few months of school. 

Maryland law calls for a kindergarten assessment for school readiness that is free of racial, cultural, or linguistic bias. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future requires an analysis of potential bias in the current Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. To meet this requirement, MSDE commissioned a study led by WestEd in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for Technology in Education to evaluate the results from the fall 2022 administration of the KRA.

The Report on the Evaluation of Racial, Cultural, or Linguistic Bias in the KRA, submitted by MSDE to the Accountability and Implementation Board on Tuesday, February 27, analyzed groups of Maryland kindergarten students by gender, race/ethnicity, English language proficiency, socioeconomic status, and special education status. The report noted that some aspects of the current KRA, and in particular some items, need to be reviewed and evaluated for implicit bias toward students from various racial, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds.

Dr. Wright said, “MSDE will be considering all options for adopting in a timely manner a kindergarten assessment for school readiness that is unbiased.”

Results from the KRA administered in Fall 2023 are expected to be released by Wednesday, March 6 on the Maryland Report Card website.



Updated: March 13, 2024