Accountability and ESSA

The Maine Department of Education is beginning to examine how the State will address the accountability requirements outlined under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As stakeholder groups are conveyed and the beginning stages of a plan constructed, updates and additional information will be provided on this web page.

The overarching goals of Maine’s accountability system must address seven key goals:

  1. Align accountability system goals with the broader goal of helping all students master the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college and careers.
  2. Make annual accountability determinations for all public schools/districts based on clear goals to advance continuous improvement.
  3. Base accountability determinations on multiple, high-quality measures that are aligned with advancing college and career readiness goals.
  4. Continue commitment to disaggregation of data for reporting and accountability and to closing achievement gaps in educational opportunity and outcomes.
  5. Report data in a manner that is rich, timely, accessible, and actionable to a range of critical stakeholders.
  6. Build statewide systems of supports and capacity to promote continuous improvement across all schools and districts.
  7. Establish systems of periodic review and continuous improvement in the state’s system of accountability and supports to best advance college and career ready teaching and learning.

Maine DOE will be required to develop a statewide accountability system that will “meaningfully differentiate” schools using:

  • Academic proficiency on State assessments
  • Graduation rates for high school
  • English language proficiency 
  • Growth or another Statewide academic indicator for K-8 schools
  • At least one other State-set indicator of school quality or student success
  • 95% assessment participation rate

The system must also identify the lowest performing schools and schools that have low performing subgroups for support and improvement. The new accountability system under ESSA will begin implementation during the 2017-18 school year. 

In addition to academic data, ESSA requires the inclusion of at least one non-academic indicator. Possibilities include: student engagement, educator engagement, access to and completion of advanced coursework, postsecondary readiness, school climate/safety, or other possible areas the State and stakeholders identify.

Maine DOE, with the input of stakeholders, will identify which non-academic indicators will be used and will establish “ambitious State-designed long term goals” with measurements of interim progress for all students and subgroups of students. Stakeholder feedback will also inform how much the individual indicators will count in the accountability system, although the academic factors (tests, graduation rates, etc.) will have to count more as a group than the non-academic indicators.

Providing Feedback

Send comments regarding accountability to ESSA.DOE@maine.gov. Please include which stakeholder group you represent and where you are from. This helps to ensure that all groups have an opportunity to provide feedback.