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INFORMATIONAL LETTER #   98

POLICY CODE: JF/KKL

 

TO:         Superintendents of Schools, Public and Private School Principals (Please distribute to all personnel responsible for MEA administration or MEDMS student information)

FROM:   Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education

DATE:    February 25, 2005

RE:        Maine Educational Assessment: Use of MEDMS Student Information

This letter updates Informational Letters #61, dated November 23, 2004, #45 dated October 12, 2004, and #41 dated September 22, 2004, which provided information and direction concerning the use of MEDMS student data collection as the source of required information for MEA and NCLB analysis and reporting.

Overview:

MEA administration and NCLB Annual Assessments pilot/field test

MEA administration for grades 4, 8, and 11 is scheduled for March 7 – 18, 2005, and the NCLB Annual Assessments pilot/field test is scheduled for March 24 -30, 2005.   Training for administration is complete, and Test Administration and Coordinator Manuals are now available at the following MEA web address: http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/05AdminInfo.htm.   Test materials will be shipped for arrival in schools on the following schedule:

Schools should call the Measured Progress help desk at 1-866-615-2745 if the materials do not arrive on time, or if the received materials are not complete or in good condition.

To insure that you are prepared to verify the accuracy of results for both MEA and NCLB accountability purposes, it is suggested that you maintain a log of the following information:

 MEDMS Student Information

At this time approximately 90% of schools have initially entered student information into MEDMS (Maine Educational Data Management System). I wish to again convey my appreciation to schools for their attention to this important data collection effort.   While difficult to implement, it will save thousands of hours of staff time.   Accurate and current information is critical to your school being treated fairly in MEA and NCLB adequate yearly progress accountability reporting.   The following list represents the key MEA/NCLB required data for analysis and reporting:

*These data fields require manual entry in MEDMS.

The following actions are designed to insure that needed information is available:

  1. Schools that have successfully entered student information into MEDMS and have verified its accuracy should use the student identification labels as directed in the Principal/Test Coordinator Manual.
  2. Schools receiving student labels that reflect an inaccurate grade level designation or any other incorrect information should not use the student labels.   The school is directed, instead, to enter the student name and MEDMS student identification number on the Student Response Booklet as directed in the Principal/Test Coordinator Manual.
  3. Schools that have entered student data into the MEDMS system between the time student labels were printed and test administration may still benefit from MEDMS.   Those schools should enter the student name and MEDMS student identification number on the Student Response Booklet as directed in the Principal/Test Coordinator Manual.
  4. Schools that have not completed MEDMS student information entry must enter all required information on the MEA or NCLB Assessment Student Response Booklet as directed in the Principal/Test Coordinator Manual.

MEDMS continues to send updates on student information to Measured Progress at least weekly.   It is imperative that schools regularly update the information about students who enter and leave the school population.   If you have questions about updating files, or require other MEDMS assistance, please call the help desk at (207) 624-6869 or contact them by e-mail at medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

Concluding Comments

I am well aware of the enormity of the task of building and maintaining the student and staff data bases needed to meet emerging information and accountability requirements.   In doing this work, we must not lose sight of the efficiencies in data handling and reductions in staff time that will enable us to shift our focus increasingly to the important work of schools.   The MEA and the developing NCLB assessments yield important information that guides our progress in effective teaching and learning.   Thank you for the care you take in support of all students, helping them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Our goal is to support all students to achieve at high standards required for successful participation in our communities and workplaces.