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The Office of Early Learning is implementing a Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) in response to changes in statute in 2012 and 2014. The KEA is our own. It was developed for North Carolina consistent with the approach recommended by a North Carolina K-3 Assessment Think Tank convened in 2013. The Think Tank sought input from thousands of teachers, parents, scholars from NC universities, and other stakeholders. For more information, see the Think Tank report (pdf, 5.1mb). North Carolina’s assessment development teams consisted of early education development scholars, experienced kindergarten teachers and administrators. The assessment was finalized in June 2015 and tested in pilots. The initial implementation of a portion of the KEA took place in 2015-2016 and a more comprehensive KEA has been assessed since 2016-2017. The KEA can be found here (pdf, 1.1mb).

The KEA is not a standardized test. It is formative assessment-based (pdf, 40kb). The KEA is administered by teachers in the classroom during the normal course of daily instruction. KEA results are not used to make high stakes decisions about teachers, schools or districts. The intent is to capture the development of each child at kindergarten entry to inform instruction and education planning. Consistent with expert views on best practice in K-3 assessment, the KEA covers the five domains of child development: approaches to learning, language development and communication, cognitive development, emotional and social development, and health and physical development.

Click here for more information about the Kindergarten Entry Assessment.