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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The results are in from Kentucky's first statewide test for kindergarten readiness, and they show more than half of the state's students are not prepared to succeed.
Governor Steve Beshear announced the results from the Kindergarten Readiness Screener on Thursday.
"The results can be painted in two ways. Either that the glass is half full or the glass is half empty," said Gov. Beshear.
He says success for the future starts before kids enter the school system.
Teachers administered the test to kindergarten students in Kentucky school districts at the beginning of the current school year.
Students are asked their name and age, to recite the alphabet and count to 30, among some other tasks.
Statewide, the assessment found only 49 percent of the more than 50,000 students entering kindergarten were prepared.
Fifty-one percent were deemed "not ready."
"This presents us a challenge for them, their teachers and ultimately the entire commonwealth," said Gov. Beshear.
Gov. Beshear went on to say unprepared students are at a disadvantage from day one.
"They're behind, many lacking some of the foundational skills on which to build," he said.
He says that could result in struggles later in life.
"They muddle through and finally graduate from high school unprepared for college or career," he said.
"I think a lot of it has to do with parents working with their kids at home," said Kristen Koeberlein, the curriculum specialist at Cornerstone Daycare in Louisville.
She says the results of the study surprised her.
"I was actually kind of shocked. I mean, we feel like our kids are 100 percent prepared for kindergarten," she told WDRB.
She says her staff work with their students to make sure no one falls behind.
"Most of them are ready for kindergarten by the time they're 4. They're spelling their first and their last name. They know their address, where their parents work. They're prepared," said Koeberlein.
She believes the best preparation begins at home.
"I think reading is really important. Read a book every night before you go to bed. 15 minutes every night can change," she said.
JCPS officials say 52 percent of students in the state's largest district were kindergarten-ready, which is an 18 percent improvement from 2012-13.
BRIGANCE measures the skills of new kindergartners in five developmental areas: physical well-being, language, cognitive skills, self-help and social-emotional skills.
School officials use tests to evaluate the first three categories, while parents are responsible for evaluating their child's self-help and social-emotional skills.
For more information on kindergarten readiness and how to prepare your child, click here.
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