Department assesses readiness of schools to administer computer-based MEA

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Tuesday, Nov. 25 announcing a technology readiness survey to assess the preparedness of Maine schools for successfully administering the 2014-15 State assessment. Please note the survey has not been linked to this Newsroom posting but was provided directly to superintendents, principals and technology directors.

Dear Superintendents, Principals and Technology Directors,

The online administration of the new Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will better allow students to demonstrate critical and higher-order thinking skills; provide more timely information to inform instruction; and improve teaching, learning, and the college and career readiness of our students.

We believe Maine students are well-positioned to be successful on this adaptive computer-based assessment and want to ensure schools feel prepared for an administration in this new testing environment.

In an effort to help school leaders and the Maine DOE better understand the technology readiness of Maine schools, the Department has created a survey focused on network capacity and speed. We ask that principals and technology directors complete the survey together for each participating school by Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Your responses will help us understand Maine’s overall state of readiness for a spring online assessment administration and also any technology and infrastructure upgrades needed by individual schools. As we stated earlier this month, we will work to ensure all schools have the necessary supports to enable all students to benefit from the advantages of this computer-adaptive assessment. However, if there is any school that is ultimately unable to meet the readiness criteria, there will be a paper-pencil option available.

In preparation for filling out the survey, we encourage you to review the following resources which will help inform your understanding of readiness and your responses:

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Sherry Wyman at sherry.wyman@maine.gov or 624-6897. For more information about the MEA or the Maine Comprehensive Assessment System, visit www.maine.gov/doe/assessment.

We appreciate your participation in the survey and look forward to reviewing your responses so we can best structure the Department’s support.

Thank you,

Sherry Wyman, Acting Director
Maine DOE Learning Through Technology Team

Charlene Tucker, Director
Maine DOE Assessment & Accountability Team