Assessing student learning is an essential aspect of education, as it provides data that can lead to improved instruction and outcomes. Assessments take many forms, and each type of assessment has distinct value and purpose in a comprehensive assessment system. Educators, policymakers, and the assessment community use assessment data to improve education and to address needs for the workforce and the economy.
ESSA includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students through equitable access to high-quality instruction. Equity in assessment is a part of equity in education and requires putting systems in place to ensure that every child has an equal chance for success. Data collected through all aspects of a balanced assessment system helps to increase understanding of the unique challenges and barriers faced by individual students or by populations of students. A balanced assessment system is a critical element in assisting Maine’s educators with ensuring that every Maine student has access to the necessary accommodations and supports to equitable opportunities for success.
The MECAS provides information about the academic progress of students, schools, and the state as a whole. The MECAS includes state assessments, known as the Maine Educational Assessments, which measure the progress of Maine students in the areas of English Language Arts and Literacy, Mathematics, and Science. The variety of assessments in MECAS allows for comparisons between Maine students and students in other states and nations. These comparisons can help educators, families, and communities, and educational agencies measure the quality of the curriculum, address achievement gaps, and understand where additional supports may be needed. As a part of this collaborative process between Maine’s educators, schools, and districts as well as the Maine Department of Education, we continue to strive to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity for success.
District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) & Data Specialists Lookup - Use this to search for Assessment Coordinators and Data Specialists in each district (no login required). If a DAC in NEO needs to be updated/changed, follow steps outlined here (login credentials required).
- Special Considerations Exemption Instructions Instructions PDF & Mini-Series
Special Considerations Exemption Instructions PDF - This process for assessment exemption is intended to be used in the rare instances when a student cannot participate in either instruction or assessment. In these cases, a request for State approval of non-participation must be made through the NEO Portal.
Special Considerations Mini-Series- Spring 2022
A Special Consideration is a request for a student to be exempt from participation in a required Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) due to medical reasons. This request must be submitted within the open assessment window of each specific applicable assessment. Following are three mini webinars that will guide you through the process of making a special considerations request.
- Maine Comprehensive Assessment System Guidelines 2021-2022
The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MECAS) Guidelines 2021-2022 provides schools with participation, enrollment, and administration, questions or concerns. The MECAS Guidelines should be used in conjunction with each MEA's Coordinator/Administration Manual. (Formerly known as Operations Procedures Manual (OPM)).
- District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) & Data Specialists Lookup
Use this to search for Assessment Coordinators and Data Specialists in each district (no login required). If a DAC in NEO needs to be updated/changed, follow steps outlined here (login credentials required).