Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS)

2016-17 MeCAS testing dates are available here.

The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS) provides information about the academic progress of students, schools, and the state as a whole. This system includes:

  • National and international assessments that help us interpret the success of Maine’s students in comparison to students in other states and nations: and
  • State assessments, known as the Maine Educational Assessments (MEA), measure the progress of Maine’s students toward the content standards adopted for Maine students. 


Along with other local assessment instruments and/or teacher-developed classroom assessments, these assessments can help educators, parents, and educational leaders to understand how well Maine’s schools are educating, how well Maine’s students are learning, and where additional support may be needed.


The Maine Educational Assessments (MEA) include required assessments in Mathematics, English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy, Science and English Language Proficiency. Both state and federal laws require that all students participate in state assessments in designated content areas at designated grades. Schools, districts, and states are accountable for achieving a minimum participation rate of 95%.


Maine’s assessment participation rates for 2015-16 were substantially improved over those in 2014-15. Science participation increased from 90.36% in 2014-15 to 95.41% in 2015-16. ELA/Literacy participation improved from 89.92% in 2014-15 to 97.49% in 2015-16. Mathematics participation improved from 89.53% in 2014-15 to 97.47% in 2015-16. 


Generally, the MEA for 2016-17 remain the same as those administered in 2015-16, with a few minor, but important, improvements. 

  • The 2016-17 MEA general assessment in Mathematics and ELA/Literacy for grades 3-8 will again be delivered online with eMPowerME. For the 3rd year high school level, the ‘redesigned’ SAT will again be delivered in 2017 with paper/pencil.
  • The 2017 MEA alternate Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy will continue to be the MSAA assessment administered online to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and 3rd year high school. Paper/pencil and scribe options are available through IEP decision making. The test delivery will change somewhat in 2016-17 as the test takes a step toward stage adaptive administration.
  • The MEA ACCESS for ELLs measures the English language proficiency of students identified as English learners. ACCESS for ELLs is an online test for grades 1-12 and a paper-pencil test for Kindergarten. The MEA Alternate ACCESS measures English language proficiency for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities and remains a paper-pencil test.


A new development this year is the Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) which houses assessment data for all of the Maine Educational Assessments administered in 2015-16.  A tab leading to MAARS can be found on the left side of the assessment web pages.


2016-17 MEA Operational Procedures (PDF, 227KB) - This document assists schools with participation, enrollment, and administration issues. The Operational Procedures should be used in conjunction with each MEA’s Test Coordinator/Administration Manual.


District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) & Data Specialists List  (choose SAU Primary Contacts/By Primary Contact Type; then filter by Assessment Coordinator or Data Specialist)


Charlene Tucker
Director of Assessment & Accountability


Eric Buckhalter

Office Associate II


Complete list of Maine assessment contacts