First, in many Waldorf and Montessori schools that test is given to determine academic (math and reading) readiness. Look here and here and here for just a few examples. Also it is not uncommon for that test to be administered in other countries as well. Sally Goddard Blythe, a consultant in Neuro-Development Education in the UK, advocates that physical readiness, development of gross and fine motor skills, must be present for a child to do well when beginning school. You can read one of her articles here.
Other factors I look at to tell whether my children are ready to read:
- Holds a book properly, turns pages, and can answer questions about the story after it is read to them.
- Recognizes their name in print and starts to imitate handwriting on paper by copying letters they see around them.
- Realizes there is a correlation between letters as symbols and the spoken word.
- Starts to rhyme words.
- Speaks clearly and in complete sentences.
I tried looking at the Dept of Education site but that site is so bogged down with everything else I couldn’t even sift through the search results to look for any ‘official’ checklist.