Department releases new online resources to support spring MEA administration

The Maine DOE continues to support schools as they prepare for a successful spring administration of the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy and has recently added new resources to its website.

Those include: Usability, Accessibility and Accommodations Implementation Guide; Smarter Balanced Resources and Practices Comparison Crosswalk; Scribing Protocol; Read Aloud Guidelines; Interim Assessment Statement Purpose; and Item Types and Response Types.

The Department has also updated the scheduling guidance it posted last month to reflect additionally recommendations. While that is true that the assessment will be available from March 16 through May 29, to support optimal performance and comparability across states, the states of the Smarter Balanced consortium have recommended that students in grades 3-8 not begin the test until they have completed at least 66 percent of the school’s annual instructional days, and that students in grade 11 (3rd year of high school) not begin the test until they have completed at least 80 percent of the school’s annual instructional days. The first possible testing dates, based on that recommendation, would therefore depend on your school’s 2014-15 calendar. Following that recommendation would mean, however, that the start date at the high school would likely be considerably later than March 16.

Later this month, the Department will also add a video recording from its January assessment administration regional workshop series to ensure those who were unable to attend can take part in this critical professional development opportunity. Those workshops are intended for the District/System Administrator (DSA) designated by the district superintendent, as well as one School Test Coordinators (SC) from the district. Individuals who are enrolled in one of the four workshops should receive a confirmation of their registration this week.

Once the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) is activated on Jan. 20, DSAs will be able to designate School Test Coordinators (SC) in each testing school. The Maine DOE will provide a series of webinars to support School Coordinators as they prepare for a leadership role within their schools. SCs will in turn designate Test Administrators (TA) who will go through their own online training and certification process.

For more assessment information or technical assistance, please contact the Department’s Acting Assessment Coordinator Nancy Godfrey at nancy.godfrey@maine.gov or 624-6775.