The Costly Consequences of Not Being Socially and Behaviorally Ready by Kindergarten

In 2015, 52% of Baltimore City Public Schools’ kindergarteners were assessed as entering school without sufficient social-behavioral skills needed to learn.  These are the readiness skills children need to follow directions, comply with rules, manage emotions, solve problems, organize and complete tasks, and get along with others. This report examined the relationships between social-behavioral readiness in kindergarten and three costly educational outcomes in over 9,000 elementary school students: being retained in grade, receiving additional services and supports through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan, and being suspended or expelled from school. Key findings include:

1. By 4th grade, children assessed by teachers as socially and behaviorally “not ready” for kindergarten were:

  • Up to 80% more likely to be retained in their grade
  • Up to 80% more likely to receive services and supports through an IEP or a 504 Plan geared toward children with disabilities
  • Up to 7 times more likely to be suspended or expelled at least once

2. Boys were more likely to be assessed as “not ready” and to experience all 3 academic difficulties by 4th grade

Read the full report here.