Assessment offers teachers and administrators a tool to gauge the progress of their students as they work to meet Maine's rigorous learning standards, and a way to measure of the effectiveness of instructional programs, standards and other inputs into the system of teaching and learning.
Teachers can use assessment to determine what students have learned and which standards are proving difficult to master, then adjust their instruction accordingly in an effort to meet student needs.
Standardized assessment is also the primary tool used under federal law to hold schools accountable for student learning.
- Maine Comprehensive Assessment System. The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System, or MeCAS, is the combination of standardized tests that inform teaching and learning, measure students' mastery of Maine's academic standards, and serve as the primary tool for holding schools accountable for student learning. This link offers an overview of the assessment system, upcoming testing dates, information on test administration and test results.
- New England Common Assessment Program. The New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, is Maine's primary standardized assessment for students in grades 3 through 8. Since 2009, Maine schools have administered the NECAP each fall to test student performance in math, reading and writing (grades 5 and 8 only). The NECAP is the only multi-state testing program in the country; New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont also participate.
- Maine High School Assessment. Maine administers the SAT to 11th-grade students to test proficiency in math, reading and writing. The state's schools administer a separate high school science assessment.
- Maine Educational Assessment. Maine uses the Maine Educational Assessment, or MEA, to test science achievement in fifth and eighth grades.
- Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio. The Personalized Alternative Assessment Portfolio, or PAAP, is the alternative to Maine's required assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
- National Assessment of Educational Progress. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what students across the nation know and can do in mathematics, reading, science and writing. The NAEP is administered to a sample of schools in every state.
- Smarter Balanced Assessments. Maine is actively working with 27 other states to develop a next-generation, computer-based assessment of student learning that will test higher-order skills and provide teachers with tools that help them use assessment to improve instruction. Set for implementation in 2014-15, it will replace the NECAP and SAT for math, reading and writing.
- National Center and State Collaborative - Maine is currently partnering with 26 states in the development of the next generation alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Set for implementation in 2014-15, this assessment will replace the PAAP.