BALTIMORE (AP) — An assessment of Maryland kindergartners shows young children in the state have made huge gains over the past decade in terms of their readiness for school.

Maryland was one of the first states to give kindergarten students a comprehensive skills test. It’s based on observations from teachers in the first months of school.

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The Washington Post reports that for the 2012-13 school year, 82 percent of kindergartners statewide were found to be school-ready. That’s up from 49 percent in 2001-02. The achievement gap is relatively small, with 79 percent African-American students in the school-ready category.

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In Montgomery County, school readiness was at 80 percent. In Prince George’s County, it’s 73 percent, up from 36 percent in 2001-02.

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