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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 114

POLICY CODE: ILB

 

TO:           Superintendents, Special Education Directors, and Principals

FROM:     Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:      March 22, 2006

RE:           Invitation to Participate in Standard Setting

The Maine Department of Education and its assessment contractor, Measured Progress, will conduct achievement level standard setting this May for the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) in grades 3-8 and for the grade 11 assessment based on the SAT.  Standard setting is a process of establishing the level of test performance that corresponds to attaining each of the four achievement levels of Exceeds the Standards, Meets the Standards, Partially Meets the Standards, and Does Not Meet the Standards.  These new achievement standards will replace the current standards that were set in 1998-99 and will remain in effect for several years.

We are inviting all interested Maine educators, including special education teachers, teachers of English language learners, and administrators with the appropriate content and grade level experience, to apply to be trained and participate in this important standard-setting process.  We are seeking more than 250 educators who are familiar with the Grade Level Expectations at grades 3-8 and the Maine Learning Results, and have the ability to interpret achievement level descriptions, the skills required to work effectively in a group process, and the depth of experience to represent not only their school but the entire state for all students.  We hope to assemble panels of approximately 15 educators per content area per grade level including a majority of grade level educators, a smaller proportion of off-grade level educators, representation for special populations, and, in the case of grade 11, representation from higher education.  Additional factors to be considered will include gender equity and geographic representation, among others.  

Grades 3-8 Information
The grades 3-8 MEA standard-setting process consists of two methods: Teacher Judgment (also called Contrasting Groups) and Modified Bookmark. Maine educators have been invited to participate in the Teacher Judgment method during the current MEA administration by completing Box D on each student answer booklet.  The next step is to seek applications from educators to be trained and participate in the Modified Bookmark method; application instructions will be available from Measured Progress shortly.  For planning purposes, please note the following dates:

May 15-16 Reading at grades 3-8
May 17-18 Mathematics at grades 3-8
May 17-18 Science and Technology at grades 4 and 8

The location for these standard-setting sessions will be the Sugarloaf Conference Center in Carrabassett Valley.  Standard setting in writing for grades 5 and 8 will occur in 2007. 

High School Information
The grade 11 standard setting will consist of the Modified Bookmark method in reading and mathematics and the Body of Work method in writing.  We will seek applications from educators to be trained and take part in this process which will be held on May 30-31, 2006, at the Augusta Civic Center.  Application instructions will be available from Measured Progress shortly.

Application Process
Measured Progress will send a letter in the next few days to all superintendents and principals detailing the application process and including more specific information.  Please encourage teachers and administrators with the appropriate content and grade level experience to apply for this important work.  We will also post this letter from Measured Progress on the MEA website at www.maine.gov/education/mea and the Maine SAT Initiative website at www.maine.gov/education/sat_initiative as soon as it is available.

Questions concerning the application process may be directed to Sarah Morris, MEA Program Assistant at Measured Progress, at 1-800-431-8901, ext. 2111.  General questions concerning MEA standard setting may be directed to Susan Smith at 624-6775 or susan.smith@maine.gov . General questions about the grade 11 standard setting may be directed to Dan Hupp at 624-6827 or dan.hupp@maine.gov .