Commissioner’s Update – February 5, 2015

From the Maine Department of Education

There are many benefits to an online administration of the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. The computer delivery will better allow students to demonstrate critical and higher-order thinking skills; more accurately measure where students are; give educators and parents more timely information to inform instruction; and allow for a more efficient, cost-effective administration.

As a result, the Department is highly recommending schools give the test electronically but understands there may be individual students who are unable to access the assessment using a computer (e.g., medical reason for avoiding screen viewing). For those cases, the Maine DOE is providing a procedure for requesting a paper-pencil version of the assessment.

Please note, this is a different process than requesting to provide a schoolwide paper-pencil administration of the assessment, which only a few schools did by yesterday’s deadline.

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Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin shares a laugh while talking with young students at his alma mater, Washburn Elementary. He was joined on the first stop of his tour yesterday of Auburn schools by his first grade teacher, Mrs. Bristol, who retired from that district in 2005. To invite the Acting Commissioner to see how your school is putting students first, contact Maine DOE’s Communications Director at samantha.warren@maine.gov.
Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin shares a laugh with students at his alma mater, Washburn Elementary. He was joined on the first stop of his tour yesterday of Auburn schools by his first grade teacher, Mrs. Bristol (at left), who retired from the district in 2005.

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