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. This section of the website is intended for families who wish to learn more about specific assessments; use the links below to navigate to common FAQs with answers.
- Why Does Maine Use a Statewide Assessment Program?
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.
- What Standardized Assessments are Administered at Maine Public Schools?
Year in School
Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy
Third Year HS
For students with significant cognitive disabilities: Grades 3-8, Third Year HS
For students on a non-standard administration roster (NAR) or State-Approved Accommodations (SAA*): Third year HS *Not college reportable
Grades 5, 8, Third Year HS
For students with the most significant cognitive disabilities: Grades 3, 8, Third year HS
English Language Proficiency
For students with the most significant cognitive disabilities: Grades K-12
Only selected schools, Mathematics and Reading are administered biennially for those in Grades 4 and 8; other content areas are subject to year-by-year changes.
Mathematics, Reading, other content areas
Only selected schools, not administered annually: Grade 4
Only selected schools, not administered every year: 15-year-olds
Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy
Only selected schools, not administered annually: Grades 4, 8
Mathematics and Science
- How Long are Statewide Assessments and When are they Administered?
Assessments are administered throughout the year and some are subject to fluctuation. Please check here for a continually updated calendar.
- What is an Alternate Assessment and How Does One Qualify?
Alternate assessments (MSAA, SAA, and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs) are designed to evaluate students with cognitive needs which deviate from those associated with the larger student body. They include built-in supports, such as:Reduced passage length in reading. Pictures and graphics included to help students understand.
Consult the this flow chart to determine whether or not a student qualifies for an alternate assessment.
- Models in reading, writing, and mathematics.
- Common geometric shapes and smaller numbers on the mathematics test.
- An option to have the entire test read aloud.
- When Can I Access Score Information?
Please visit this page for assessment result information.