April 2020

The Department is not currently administering all statewide summative assessments. All assessment windows are closed in addition to the special considerations module. Further questions should be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems at janette.kirk@maine.gov

We recognize that school/district leaders and educators must prioritize educational continuity and access for students at this time.  The information contained below is provided to ensure school and district leaders have all pertinent assessment information at this time.

Maine will not administer the following assessments during the spring 2020 assessment window:

  • eMPowerME (Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – grades 3 -8)
  • SAT (Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – 3rd year of high school)
  • Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA -Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – grades 3 -8)
  • Science (grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school)
  • Science Alternate Assessment (SAA - grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school)

The Maine Department of Education is excited to announce that the request submitted to the U.S. Department of Education to waive assessments, accountability and school identifications (SY 20-21) has been formally approved.  As a result of this waiver, the Department will not implement the assessment requirements in section 1111(b)(2): the requirements to administer all required assessments in school year 2019-2020. Further information related to the granting of the waiver can be found in the DOE newsroom.

SAT Administration

As you know, the SAT was used as part of our ESSA accountability assessment system, and we have received a waiver exempting us from the ESSA assessments.  We will not be requiring, nor offering, the SAT to this year’s 3rd year high school students, and we intend to invite educators and school/school administrative unit (SAU) leaders to assist us as we redesign a state assessment system that will authentically measure school success and student achievement in a more useful and meaningful way.

We have confirmed that the SAT is not required for admission, nor will it be required as a screener for any program, at any Maine college or university.  In addition, we are hearing that colleges and university across the country are following suit. 

Securing and returning received assessment materials

Due to COVID-19 outbreak and shift to remote learning within Maine schools, Maine will not administer the following Maine Educational Assessments (MEA) during the spring 2020 assessment window:

  • eMPowerME (Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – grades 3 -8)
  • SAT (Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – 3rd year of high school)
  • Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA -Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – grades 3 -8)
  • Science (grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school)
  • Science Alternate Assessment (SAA - grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school)

Prior to making this determination, two paper-based MEA test booklets and materials were shipped to districts/schools. While all shipped assessment materials are considered “unused”, all materials in original shipment boxes must be returned to ensure test security. The return shipment process for eMPowerME and high school MEA Science assessment materials is outlined below. We are requesting all materials be returned via UPS by Monday June 1, 2020. Please ensure when scheduling UPS pick-up, someone will be physically available at the building or location to transfer the materials to UPS. Please do not leave the materials unattended outside the building.

Please note there are no MSAA materials to be returned.

  1. eMPowerME Regular Print, Large Print and Braille versions:
  2. Please follow instructions on Test Coordinator Manual beginning on page 19.
  3. Schools must contact the Cognia Service Center (855) 652-8929 or maineservicecenter@cognia.org to schedule UPS pickup. Please make sure the shipment is ready by 8:00 a.m. on the scheduled date, as pickup times will vary. Please do not contact UPS directly doing so will result in you will be charged for the pickup. eMPowerME testing materials that are ready for return may be given to a UPS driver who arrives for other deliveries. It is recommended to keep a copy of the UPS service return label for potential future tracking.
  4. MEA Science High School Regular Print, Large Print and Braille versions:
  5. Please follow instructions on Principal Test Coordinator Manual beginning on page 23. No online Principal Certification of Proper Test Administration (PCPA) is necessary.
  6. High Schools: The test coordinator for high schools must schedule his or her own UPS pickup. Instructions for scheduling this pickup are enclosed on a colored sheet of paper (sample attached) that was included in the shipment of testing materials to each school. Please contact the Cognia Maine Customer Care Center at (866) 615-2745 or email meascience@cognia.org for assistance.

Public Comment required

Public comment is required regarding Maine’s application to waive the above assessment requirements.  As part of protocol, we are posting an opportunity for public comment regarding the Maine Department of Education (DOE) seeking a one-year waiver pursuant to §8401(b) from requirements within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015) from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The U.S. Department of Education requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, solicit and respond to public comment on the request and provide evidence of the available comment period. This 15-day public comment period from March 25 – April 10, 2020, waives requirements related to chronic absenteeism, accountability identifications and accountability components within Maine’s Model of School Support.

Information related to public comment can be located in the DOE Newsroom. Public comment is open through April 10, 2020.  Comments can be submitted to ESSA.DOE@maine.gov.  Further questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Schools

Department and Commissioner updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic are available  here.

Content Specialist Meetings

To best support educators during extended school closures, Maine DOE content area specialists have scheduled a series of virtual meetings. During these meetings, our specialists will be available to provide support and guidance regarding distance learning, as well as to facilitate networking and resource sharing between educators.  Information on the meetings and hours is updated daily and is located here.

General Reminders 

Please ensure all DAC contacts and other contacts are current in NEO.  Teachers, district test coordinators may sign up to receive Assessment Listserv notices for general assessments and for the Alternate Assessment Listserv.  For those looking for notifications regarding the ACCESS / Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, please subscribe to the ESL Communication list

Comments or Suggestions? 

Please email Janette Kirk  with any comments, questions or suggestions regarding the monthly assessment update. We welcome feedback that helps us to support and clarify our work together.  

Assessment Team Contact Information  

Interim Assessment Team Leader  
Janette Kirk – 624-6707 

Assessment Coordinator (eMPowerME, SAT, Science) 
Nancy Godfrey – 624-6775 

National & International Assessment Coordinator (NAEP, PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS) 
Dr. Regina Lewis – 624-6715 

Interim Alternate Assessment Contact (MSAA, SAA)
Erin Frazier, Director of Special Services  624-6737

Assessment Team Management Analyst
Cheryl Brackett, 624-6770

WIDA Coordinator ( ACCESS for ELS, Alternate ACCESS for ELS) 
Vacant - 624-6774 (Telephone messages will be checked periodically)