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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 79

 

POLICY CODE: ILBB

 

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, Special Education Directors, and Title I Coordinators

 

FROM:           J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner, and

                        Coordinators of the Maine Assessment Portfolio Pilot

 

DATE:            June 11, 2001

 

RE:                 Maine Assessment Portfolio Pilot

 

            We are writing to inform you about the Maine Assessment Portfolio Pilot.  This year was the third and final year of our three-year pilot.  The two purposes for this pilot were to develop a valid and reliable model of portfolio assessment of Maine’s Learning Results in the selected disciplines and to provide professional development, building capacity to enhance and assess student achievement of Maine’s Learning Results.  Over 600 Maine teachers have received professional development that enhanced their assessment expertise and prepared them to implement standards-based performance tasks and portfolios in their classrooms.

 

            Dozens of performance task sets aligned with Maine’s Learning Results

(including task, scoring guide, and teacher notes) have been drafted and piloted by Maine teachers.  Task sets are available for each content standard in each of the four grade spans for the four disciplines involved in MAP (English language arts, health, mathematics, and science).  Social studies materials are currently being developed and will be made available to schools.

 

            To fully achieve the goals of MAP, the project coordinators have submitted a proposal to initiate Phase II, which is a two-year design to complete field testing, identify benchmarks, compile necessary scoring training materials, and establish the technical qualities of the tasks and of the portfolio model.  Once this phase is completed, the MAP materials, including calibration exercises and supporting technical data, will be available for wide dissemination to Maine schools.  Schools and districts around the state have shown an interest in including the Maine Assessment Portfolio as part of their Comprehensive Assessment System.  The Phase II proposal is designed to move forward with an intensified focus on technical quality. This will necessitate a different structure that includes one site and fewer teachers at each of the grade spans to serve as field testers.

 

            Beginning in the fall of 2001, we hope to make existing tasks (as drafts) available on line and to support teachers through electronic discussion forums and training experiences.  Therefore, Maine teachers will still have access to MAP resources and assistance.  As tasks are completed in the field test phase, these additional materials will be posted; we will not wait for the project to be completed.  This will enable us to reach many more educators across the state.

 

            You will hear from us in the fall with many more details on the recruitment and selection of field testers and on the materials that will be on line.