Assessing student learning is an essential aspect education, as it provides valuable data to districts, schools, families and students. Educators, policymakers, and the assessment community use assessment data to improve education, and to target supports and resources for Maine students. As outlined in ESSA, students are required to participate in statewide science assessments in grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school. To read more about both the general and alternate assessments in science, please visit the specific assessment pages.
This spring (2021) Maine Department of Education will usher in the new Maine science assessment based, for the first time, on the Maine science and engineering standards, i.e. NGSS, adopted in April 2019. In a year of firsts, the general science assessment will also go online under the direction of a new vendor, New Meridian. This new format will allow for greater flexibility over the coming years. In the short term, changes of note include a greater focus on science and engineering practices along with the application of knowledge rather than rote recall. Questions will mostly occur in clusters around a common problem or process. The assessment will continue to focus on the performance expectation level, yet under Maine’s new science standards these are three-dimensional performance expectations that incorporate science practices and crosscutting concepts with disciplinary core ideas/content.
The MSAA Science is Maine’s alternate assessment for science. This assessment is administered in grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school and is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The assessment is based on the alternate achievement standards in science, the Extended Performance Expectations [EPEs], which are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.