WTTW recently published the article “Kindergarten Readiness Up in Illinois, But Advocates Say More Must Be Done to Fill Gaps” which discussed the most recent Illinois State Board of Education’s KIDS survey.
The number of Illinois kindergarteners hitting readiness requirements has increased statewide, but more than two-thirds of students are still not meeting those goals and education advocates say there’s more work that must be done to eliminate systemic inequalities.
The Illinois State Board of Education on Monday released new data from its Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS), which shows the number of 5-year-olds displaying kindergarten readiness in areas like literacy and math in 2019 increased to 29%, up from 26% in 2018.
Advocacy groups like Advance Illinois, the Erikson Institute, the McCormick Foundation and others issued a joint statement Monday saying these disparities show Illinois still has important work to do to close gaps in opportunity and outcomes.
“Although it is encouraging to see overall kindergarten readiness numbers grow, it will take more data to draw definitive conclusions about readiness trends in Illinois,” the groups said.
The most recent KIDS data underscores the need for deeper investment in high-quality early childhood services for children before they enter kindergarten, with a specific focus on equity – particularly improving access and quality for children from Black and Latino communities, children from low-income households, English Learners, and students with special needs.