Predicting Kindergarten Enrollment in Baltimore

Original Source: Grigg, J., Abt, M., & Connolly, F. (2018). “Predicting Kindergarten Enrollment in Baltimore”. BERC Website: Publications.
Subject: Kindergarten
Research question/s:
Motivation/s: This brief examines the relation between the number of Baltimore-born children and the subsequent kindergarten enrollment in Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools). The authors use this birth information to make predictions about kindergarten enrollment into the future.
Data: Publicly reported data from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

1.     School year 2014-15 represented a peak in number of children enrolled in kindergarten for two reasons: it represented the second highest number of births over this period along with the peak enrollment rate (74%).

2.     Subsequent to that year, the number of babies born to Baltimore residents declined along as did the enrollment rate.

3.     The enrollment rate has been relatively high in recent years. The lowest observed figure was 59% in 2005-06 school year.

4.     Going forward, 2016, the most recent year of birth data, had the lowest number of births since 1995 (8,526).

5.     Without an increase in the proportion of youth enrolling over the next five years, the kindergarten population will decline.

6.     The decline is not uniform across racial and ethnic groups. In fact, it is observed exclusively among Baltimore’s African-American/Black population. In 2000, over 7,000 African-American/Black babies were born to Baltimore residents; in 2016; the figure was 5,152. Over the same period, the Non-Hispanic White population was nearly constant (approximately 2,200), the American Indian, Asian, or Pacific Islander population doubled (from 134 to 275), and the Hispanic population increased four-fold (approximately 200 to over 800).

7.     The trend is of declining enrollment has continued steadily in recent years, and the decline has been accelerated by decreasing numbers of non-Hispanic African-American/Black children born in Baltimore City.

Keywords: Enrollment, Kindergarten
Type: Research Brief
Status of the Work: Published