NCSL Technical Report: State Approaches to School Readiness Assessment


Academic achievement is a cornerstone of independence, productivity and active citizenship.

Children who enter kindergarten ready to meet its academic, social and emotional demands are more likely to achieve later academic and life success. Likewise, children who enter school behind their peers in these areas tend to remain academically behind and at risk for harmful behavior in adulthood (e.g., dropping out of school, criminal behavior, unemployment). Evidence suggests that more than half the achievement gap found in later school years already is present at kindergarten entry.

This is an update to NCSL’s 2010 Technical Report: State Approaches to School Readiness Assessment.

Since 2010, at least 14 states have passed new legislation to establish or amend school readiness assessments of young children. Currently, at least 34 states and the District of Columbia have some form of school readiness assessment statute or regulation. Typically, states assess children at the beginning of the kindergarten year through use of a state-approved assessment.

Below you will  find a brief summary that includes recent school readiness assessment legislative updates since 2010. You also will find updated charts on state kindergarten readiness assessment actions and school readiness assessment state statutes and regulations language. Visit NCSL’s Early Care and Education Project for additional information.

Additional Resources