Information about 2008–2009 MEA and PAAP Assessments at Grades 3-8 and ELL Assessments
INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 39
POLICY CODE: ILB
TO: Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Elementary and Middle School Principals, and Special Education Directors
FROM: Susan A. Gendron
DATE: November 13, 2008
RE: Information about 2008–2009 MEA and PAAP Assessments at Grades 3-8 and ELL Assessments
Key Points about MEA and PAAP Assessments for Grades 3-8 and WIDA ACCESS for ELLsŪ Covered in this Informational Letter:
- The 2009 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) and Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) will measure the 2007 Maine Department of Education (MDOE) Regulation 131: The Maine Federal, State, and Local Accountability Standards in reading, mathematics and science.
- Reading and mathematics will be assessed at grades 3 through 8 and science at grades 5 and 8.
- Writing will not be assessed on the MEA or PAAP at grades 5 and 8 this year due to budgetary considerations.
- The MEA Online computer-based assessment will not occur this year.
- The dates for the grades 3–8 MEA general assessment are March 2-20, 2009.
- The alternate assessment to the MEA, the PAAP, will be administered from the beginning of the school year through the submission date of March 25, 2009 at all grades 3–8 and will consist only of tasks that can be chosen and downloaded from the Web at http://www.mecas.org/paap/index.html .
- PAAP registration of students will occur from February 3-20, 2009.
- All K-12 enrolled English language learners (ELLs) in Maine, including recently arrived ELLs, must be assessed for English language proficiency by participating in the WIDA ACCESS for ELLsŪ. The testing window for this assessment is December 1, 2008 to February 6, 2009.
- All official student level data will be supplied by the MEDMS student data now maintained in the Infinite Campus database. All MEDMS student data must be updated and verified by January 16, 2009 to ensure an accurate PAAP student registration process and printing of student labels (MEA and PAAP) in February and by March 20, 2009 to ensure accurate reporting (MEA, PAAP and AYP).
- Consideration is still being given to change all or parts of the grades 3-8 MEA in
MEA 2008-09 Test Design
The test length and mix of item types for the March 2009 MEA are relatively unchanged from last year, with the exception of these areas:
- The grade 3 reading test is now composed of short passages only, in place of both short and long passages.
- The grade 4 test will include no science sessions.
- The grade 5 test will include three science sessions and no writing session.
- The grade 8 test will include no writing session and will not be offered in a computer-based format.
- Due to budgetary considerations, the writing sessions of the grades 5 and 8 MEA are being suspended this year.
- All MEA items are designed to measure Maine Department of Education (MDOE) Regulation 131: The Maine Federal, State, and Local Accountability Standards. These accountability content standards appear in a shaded format in the MDOE Regulation 132: Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction. located at: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/05/071/071c132.doc .
Specific test design information will be available at: http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/admininfo.htm as it is finalized.
MEA Testing Window
Grade level assessments, including make-ups, will be administered between March 2–20, 2009 in accordance with MEA administration guidelines. Test materials will arrive in schools immediately following February vacation week and will be picked up automatically by UPS on March 25th. Administration information is currently posted or will be posted as soon as available on the web at http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/admininfo.htm , including the MEA Operational Procedures for Grades 3-8 March 2009 Administration document, the 2008-09 Policies and Procedures for Accommodations and Alternate Assessment document, the MEA Principal/Test Coordinator Manual, and the MEA Test Administrator manuals.
MEA Materials Distribution
MEA materials and mailings will be sent to the school in which a publicly-funded student is enrolled. For students with private special purpose program concurrent enrollments, the materials will be sent directly to the school that the student is attending. For students attending regional programs, the materials will be sent to the resident school where the student is enrolled.
MEA Administration Workshops
Test administration workshops will be held at five regional sites in late January 2009. Registration information will be mailed to schools when available and posted on the MEA website at: http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/workshops/index.html .
Alternate Assessment (PAAP)
The alternate assessment to the MEA, the Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP), will be administered from the beginning of the school year through the submission date of March 25, 2009 at all grades 3–8 and will consist only of tasks that can be chosen and downloaded from the Web at http://www.mecas.org/paap/index.html . Writing will not be assessed. There will be an automatic UPS pick-up of PAAPs at schools throughout the State on March 25, 2008.
WIDA ACCESS for ELLsŪ
All K-12 enrolled ELLs in Maine, including recently arrived ELLs, must be assessed for English language proficiency by participating in the WIDA ACCESS for ELLsŪ during the testing window, which extends from December 1, 2008 through February 6, 2009. Information from this test, in addition to being used for local purposes, is used as part of Maine’s Accountability System and to show participation in place of the MEA reading test for recently arrived ELLs, defined as ELLs who have attended schools in the United States for 12 months or less. The date used to make this determination is February 1, 2008, so any ELL who has arrived on or after February 1, 2008 is “recently arrived”. Test ordering information is available by contacting MetriTech at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-747-4868.
WIDA ACCESS for ELLsŪ Administration Training
Test administrators can be trained online at: www.wida.us . Questions about online training should be directed to: email@example.com .
The official student data of record, except for accommodations, will be supplied by the MEDMS student data now maintained in the Infinite Campus database so it is essential that schools keep their MEDMS data current. To ensure accurate student labels for use on the MEA answer booklets, schools must update and verify student enrollment, demographic, and program data by January 16, 2009 by reviewing the “Attending Student Download” in the MEDMS State Edition of the Infinite Campus State Education Systems (ICSES). This can be found under “ME State Reporting” of the Index tab in ICSES. Please make sure the Year selected at the top is 08-09. When clicking on the “Attending Student Download”, you can then click “Generate Report” to view the spreadsheet. Clicking “Generate Report” will offer the option to “Open” or “Save” the resulting spreadsheet, which will show enrolled and exited students.
MEDMS data as of end of day March 20, 2009 will be the official data of record for all 2008-09 MEA/PAAP assessment reports and AYP accountability determinations. No individual student coding corrections for MEA/PAAP or AYP reports will be accepted or made by MDOE after that date. Requests for other data adjustments will be handled on a case by case basis and will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
2009-10 State Assessments:
As previously explained in Informational Letter #031 “Changes to the Maine Educational Assessment at Grades 3-8” [10/21/2008] , www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=edu_letters&id=63022&v=article we have proposed a significant change to the Maine Educational Assessment for grades 3-8 beginning in school year 2009-2010. This proposal, which would have us join other New England states (NH, VT, and RI) in delivering a common assessment to grades 3-8 in reading and mathematics in October of 2009 and science in May of 2010, is still under consideration. This assessment, known as the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), would replace the March 2010 MEA if adopted in its entirety. Additional information will be provided as soon as a final decision is made.
The Maine High School Assessment, consisting of the SAT, Math-A and science tests, will continue unchanged.
For More Information: Please periodically check the websites included in this letter for updated information. You may also register for the following Listservs:
MEA-related information: http://mailman.informe.org/mailman/listinfo/mea
PAAP-related information: http://mailman.informe.org/mailman/listinfo/paap
MEA Policy: Susan Smith, MEA Coordinator, at (207) 624-6775/6770, or firstname.lastname@example.org
MEA Administration: Measured Progress at 1-800-431-8901
PAAP and Accommodations Policy: Kim Schroeter at (207) 624-6774 or email@example.com
AYP Policy: Rachelle Tome, Title 1 School Improvement Coordinator, at (207) 624-6705 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCESS for ELLsŪ Policy: Nancy Mullins, ESL/Bilingual Director at (207) 624-6788, or email@example.com
ACCESS for ELLsŪ Administration and Ordering: MetriTech at 1-800-747-4868
MEDMS: MEDMS Helpdesk at (207) 624-6896 or firstname.lastname@example.org