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 quality of 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 equal opportunity for success.
Special Consideration Exemption Request– 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.
Maine Comprehensive Assessment System Guidelines 2020-2021- Formerly named the Operations Procedures Manual (OPM). This document assists schools with participation, enrollment, and administration issues. The MECAS (Maine Comprehensive Assessment System Guidelines) should be used in conjunction with each MEA's Coordinator/Administration Manual. Updated November 2020