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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.:  109

POLICY CODE:  ILB

 

 

TO:      Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Special Education Directors, Elementary and Middle School Principals, Guidance Counselors, and MEA Test Coordinators

 

FROM: Susan A. Gendron

 

DATE: February 28, 2006

 

RE:       Update on Administration of the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Grades 3-8

 

Key Points Covered in This Informational Letter

·        Arrival of MEA testing materials

·        Student data in Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS)

·        Writing field test at grades 5 and 8

·        Administering accommodation E3 (Read Aloud)

·        Teacher judgment portion of MEA standard setting

 

MEA Testing Materials

The MEA testing materials are arriving in schools this week for the testing window of March 6 – 24, 2006. It is important that schools inventory these materials upon receipt and notify Measured Progress immediately at 1-866-615-2745 or http://iservices.measuredprogress.org if additional materials are needed. Principal/Test Coordinator manuals and Test Administrator manuals should be distributed upon receipt. These manuals are also available at www.maine.gov/education/mea/AdminInfo.  Please note that student labels should be placed on student answer booklets at the end of testing.

 

Student Information in MEDMS

MEA and AYP reporting will be based only on student information that is contained in MEDMS. It is important that all student information be entered in MEDMS and updated before the end of the testing window.

 

Writing Field Test at Grades 5 and 8

Students will be participating in a writing field test at grades 5 and 8. The grade 5 prompts will focus on the narrative mode of writing, and the grade 8 prompts will focus on the persuasive/argumentative mode. Descriptions of the modes of writing, draft scoring guides, and a sample prompt for grade 8 are all located at: www.maine.gov/education/mea/AdminInfo. Because this is a field test, there will be no writing scores for 2005-06.

 

Administration of Accommodation E3 (Read Aloud)

Schools have the option this year to choose one (or more) forms of the test to administer to students for whom a team has approved accommodation E3, “Tests were read to the student by the test administrator (with the exception of the reading passages).”  Information concerning the administration of this accommodation for schools participating in MEA Online is available at: http://maine.itest-k12.org. All accommodations must be bubbled in on the 2nd page of the Student Answer Booklet at the end of testing.

 

Teacher Judgment Portion of MEA Standard Setting

MEA standard setting took place in 1998-99 and the standards have not changed since that time. This year, we are resetting the standards. As part of this process, we are using a method called “Teacher Judgment,” sometimes called “Contrasting Groups.” This means that we are asking teachers to make judgments of student proficiency based on classroom performance in accordance with the directions included with the testing materials and also available at: http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/AdminInfo.  These judgments will need to be bubbled on student answer booklets and will be used solely to inform the validity of the standard-setting process. While participation is not mandatory, information from this process will help ensure that sound achievement levels will be set for the MEA testing program for the next several years.

 

 

Contact Information:

 

MEA Policy Questions: Susan Smith, MEA Coordinator, 624-6775 or susan.smith@maine.gov

 

MEA Testing Materials - Measured Progress at 1-866-615-2745 or http://iservices.measuredprogress.org

 

MEDMS Helpdesk – 207-624-6896 or MEDMS.helpdesk@maine.gov