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TO:                  Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Directors of Instruction, School Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, Deans of Colleges, Maine Education Association, Maine Principalsí Association, and Maine School Superintendents Association


FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:             March 17, 2004


RE:                   Nominations to Maine Educational Assessment  (MEA) Content Development Committees


The Maine Department of Education is inviting nominations for several openings on Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) content development committees, which are charged with the development of assessment items for use in the MEA content area tests.  I am writing to invite you to nominate outstanding teachers and/or content specialists to serve on these committees to develop materials to be used at grades 4, 8, and 11 in the content areas of English language arts and science & technology. At this time, our mathematics committees are not recruiting new members.


The content development committees consist of approximately 12 members, and are involved in the preparation and review of new assessment materials that will be aligned to Maine Learning Results, field tested, and benchmarked for use in MEA tests over the next three to five years.  Selected nominees will serve on the content development committees for a period of three years.  New committee members will be chosen based on the information provided on the application form and in a manner that ensures a balance of experience, interest in assessment, geographic representation from all areas of the State, and a combination of on- and near-grade participants, among other factors. The commitment will involve one day during the school year and two days during the summer months, and will include training in the development process. It is very important that committee members make a commitment to attend all meetings over the course of their appointments. Please see the attached sheet for information about cost reimbursement for participation.


Teacher involvement in development of the MEA has been instrumental in the programís success in providing useful program and student evaluation information to Maine schools. The participants clearly will be making a significant contribution to the MEA program by providing context for assessment items, developing new items, and bringing classroom perspectives to the process.  In return, participants will receive training on development of different item types, item alignment, and statistical analysis of criterion referenced items. They will develop knowledge about test design and released MEA reports and items, as well as participate in professional discussions with colleagues. This experience also provides an excellent professional development opportunity useful to teachers in building capacity for local assessment programs. Certificates of contact hours will be provided to all participants.


Development meetings will occur in May, as well as June or July of 2004. Please refer to the attached chart for specific dates.  We will notify all candidates regarding the status of their application by April 16, 2004. 


 If you have questions about development committees, please contact Brud Maxcy at or by phone at (207) 624-6774.  Attached is a list of meeting dates, committee service information, and an application form to be copied and distributed to your nominees.  Applications must be returned by April 7, 2004.


 I hope you will consider nominating one or more candidates to serve on these important development committees.



2004 MEA Development Committee Information

MEA Content Development Committee Application Form