DOE Press Release:
Florida’s Kindergartners are entering classrooms with better foundational skills according to the 2009 Florida Kindergarten Readiness screening results released today by the Florida Department of Education. Administered within the first 30 days of Kindergarten, the screening measures a student’s knowledge and understanding in seven areas: language and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, social and personal skills, physical health and fitness, and the creative arts. The screening results are used to determine student readiness, inform classroom instruction and provide useful information to parents and teachers.
“Early learning is essential for future success and I’m thrilled that more students are entering school better prepared and ready to learn,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Florida’s parents and prekindergarten teachers have dedicated countless hours to educating our students at an earlier age, ensuring that our success today is not short-lived, but rather an enduring trend that will pave the way for more students to be successful throughout their education career.”
Traditionally, Florida has used two primary Kindergarten screening tools: the Early Childhood Observation System™ (ECHOS) and the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills™ (DIBELS). This year, the DIBELS screening tool was replaced with the new and more comprehensive Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR) to measure letter naming, phonemic awareness, listening comprehension, and vocabulary.
Data collected from ECHOS and FAIR will be used to calculate a readiness rate for private and public school providers of the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program later this year. However, screening results detailing the readiness of Florida’s kindergartners are available now.
ECHOS (Observation screening) – Of the 182,534 students screened by ECHOS in 2009, 88.51 percent were considered to be “ready for Kindergarten” up from 87.94 percent in 2008. The percentage of students identified as “not yet demonstrating” dropped slightly to 11.49 percent from 12.06 percent in 2008. To be considered “ready for Kindergarten,” students should be scoring at the Demonstrating or Emerging/Progressing level on the ECHOS.
FAIR Broad Screen (Letter Naming and Blending of Sounds screening) – Of the 179,827 students screened, 65 percent were considered to be “ready for Kindergarten” by scoring a Probability of Reading Success score at or above 67 percent. Such score indicates that the student has a 67 percent or greater chance of being on grade level at the end of the year.
Additional FAIR measures that were administered as part of the Kindergarten screening also provide teachers with student data on listening comprehension and vocabulary to help inform their instruction.
To learn more about the results, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2010/2010_06_01/Memo1-6-10.pdf. To see results by district, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2010/2010_06_01/kindergarten-screening-results.xls .