May 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

Maine Department of Education Monthly Assessment Update May 2020 

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.  

Securing and Returning Received Assessment Materials 

Prior to making this determination of cancelling all spring 2020 assessments, 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.  

  1. eMPowerME Regular Print, Large Print and Braille versions: 

  1. Please follow instructions on Test Coordinator Manual beginning on page 19.  

  1. 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. 

  2. MEA Science High School Regular Print, Large Print and Braille versions: 

  3. Please follow instructions on Principal Test Coordinator Manual beginning on page 23. No online Principal Certification of Proper Test Administration (PCPA) is necessary. 

  1. 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. 

SAT Administration & Question Bank 

As you know, the SAT is used as part of Maine’s ESSA accountability assessment system, and we have received a waiver exempting administration of statewide summative assessments during school year 2019-2020.   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. This information was provided in the Commissioner’s April 7, update. 

The College Board provides the following updates and resources: During the month of April 2020, the College Board released the SAT Suite Question Bank (SSQB) providing educators with access to over 3,500 questions from the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT assessments. The SSQB is designed to help educators become more familiar with the SAT Suite of Assessments and better understand the knowledge and skills accessed to inform instruction.  

Educators can use the SSQB to create custom, targeted question sets to inform instruction.  Teachers can find questions that align with skills taught in class and use them in multiple ways. Questions can be sorted by sub scores, cross-test scores, and content domains.  Additional materials available from the College Board related to SSQB and SAT assessment include: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Schools 

Department and Commissioner updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic are available for schools. Please also note a resource page for families contains updates materials and resources.  

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 weekly. The Department webpage contains all meeting information for educators and educational technicians.  

NAEP 2021 school samples to states will be postponed from May to summer 2020.   

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has announced that the distribution of NAEP 2021 school samples to states will be postponed from May to summer 2020. NCES intends to move forward with the administration of the 2021 NAEP assessments. NAEP and the international assessments will provide important benchmarks to help  understand the impact of the health crisis and will be more important than ever to administer in 2021. Preparations for the state mathematics and reading, national U.S. history and civics, and Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS) continue to be underway. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, processes and procedures will be adapted. In addition to the postponement of the sample distribution, recruitment and scheduling of district and schools plans to implement a three-block design for NAEP will also be delayed.  All students will participate in the traditional two-block design for the NAEP 2021 administration of the assessment. 

NAEP 2018 Civics, Geography, and U.S. History Results Released 

The National Assessment Governing Board and the National Center for Education Statistics for the released the results for the 2018 National Assessment of Education Progress in civics, geography, and U.S. history assessments on April 23, 2020. At this virtual release event, experts discussed how to improve learning in each subject.   Implications and connections to the national crisis in reading performance were also discussed.  Additional information and resources for released results are now available. 

WIDA Score Reports  

ACCESS for ELLS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs student reports remain on schedule.  The online student reports will be available to districts through the WIDA AMS system on Wednesday, April 29th.  Printed student reports will be delivered to schools on Monday, May 11th.  District-level users may view both district level and school level reporting. School-level users may view school level reporting only.  Test Administrators do not have permission to view reports.   Please contact DRC Customer Support with any questions at 1-855-787-9615 or go online for WIDA reports

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)