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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.:  48
POLICY CODE:  ILB

 


TO:                  Superintendents of Schools, Assistant Superintendents, Middle School Principals, Technology Directors, Curriculum Coordinators, and Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) Test Coordinators

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education

DATE:             October 7, 2005

SUBJECT:       Grade 8 MEA Online Information and Updates

Key Points Covered in this Informational Letter

MEA Online Participation
As cited in Informational Letter #25 (August 30, 2005) describing the MEA for Grades 3 - 8 (available at http://www.maine.gov/education/edletrs/), the grade 8 MEA Online for the 2005-06 school year will be available to all schools on a voluntary basis. Our goal this year is to improve upon last year’s 25% participation rate, leading to 100% participation in the future.

Results of the MEA Comparability Study

A recently completed comparability analysis from the 2004-05 MEA administration indicates that performance on the MEA Online is consistent with student performance on the paper and pencil version of the MEA.  This is an encouraging finding in that it demonstrates that the technology is not getting in the way of measuring student content knowledge. To review the entire Comparability Study, access it at http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/meaonline/ . This is the first step towards developing an assessment aligned to the technology used in the classroom.

Enhancements to the MEA Online System
Measured Progress has made several technical changes that are designed to make the system simpler and easier to use and to improve reliability under various network conditions.  In addition, two new practice tests have been added to aid students in becoming familiar with the system.  MEA Online training has also been enhanced based on feedback from last year’s participants.  I encourage all of you who participated last year, or who will participate this year, to attend upcoming trainings. 

Additional MEA Online Information
Soon you will receive information from Measured Progress describing the regional training opportunities and the online registration process.  In addition, please visit the new Department MEA Online web page (http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/meaonline/).  The web page includes links to the MEA Online Comparability Study, MEA Online listserv, and relevant informational letters.  Measured Progress will continue to host the MEA Online website (http://maine.itest-k12.org/) that contains the latest information on dates, technical specifications, and best practices for implementation. 

If you have specific questions concerning your participation, please contact the Measured Progress help desk at 1-877-934-8378 or meaonline@measuredprogress.org.  Help desk staff are currently available to respond to your questions.  For general MEA questions, please contact Brud Maxcy, MEA Coordinator, at (207) 624-6774 or brud.maxcy@maine.gov