Maine follows the national trend on the Nation’s Report Card: NAEP

AUGUSTA – Test scores from the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), in grades 4 and 8, released today show Maine remains above the national average even as mathematics scores slightly declined and reading scores saw no statistical change.

The NAEP assessment is a 90 minute paper and pencil test providing a national yard stick of student achievement since 1969. This test is administered in grades 4 and 8 in randomly selected schools every other year. In Maine, about 2,500 students participated in each subject area, at each grade level. This assessment is consistent in all states including Department of Defense schools.

Acting Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley said, “The greatest value of NAEP is it is a consistent, basic measurement that is designed to provide teachers, school administrators, parents, and business and community members a look at how Maine is doing compared to other states, and can be used for general comparison with other countries as well.”

Trends

Grade 4 Mathematics: The percentage of students in Maine who performed at or above the NAEP proficient level was 41% in 2015, a percentage smaller than 47% in 2013, and greater than 2000’s score of 23%.

Grade 8 Mathematics: The percentage of students in Maine who performed at or above the NAEP proficient level was 35% in 2015, a percentage smaller than 40% in 2013, and greater than 2000’s score of 30%.

Grade 4 Reading: The percentage of students in Maine who performed at or above the NAEP proficient level was 36% in 2015. The percentage was not significantly different from that of 37% in 2013 and 35% in 1998.

Grade 8 Reading: The percentage of students in Maine who performed at or above the NAEP proficient level was 36% in 2015. This percentage was not significantly different than that of 38 % in 2013 and 41% in 1998.

Nationally, there have always been large performance gaps between students eligible to receive free or reduced lunch and those not eligible. According to 2015 NAEP data, 42% of Maine’s students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. The performance gap between these two groups of students is one of the smallest in comparison to most other states.

Supports

Mathematics: To support teachers in their learning and implementation of more rigorous standards, Maine Department of Education has created a host of Mathematics Professional Development Opportunities for 2015-16. Among the offerings are:

Reading: With greater focus on helping all Maine students have experiences with building their academic vocabulary and knowledge across content areas, Maine Department of Education continues to offer:

  • The Cross Disciplinary Literacy Network (CDLN) offering opportunities to foster literacy practices that support learning across content areas.
  • Developing and Supporting Assessment Practices (DSAP) focusing on implementing formative assessment into instruction.
  • Literacy Links, a bi-monthly electronic newsletter, focusing on formative assessment strategies appropriate for English language arts instruction that help to guide day-to-day instruction.
  • Over the course of the year, teacher leaders will work with Maine DOE’s ELA specialists on instructional resources demonstrating the intended rigor of the standards as follow up to annual Summer Literacy Institutes.
  • Literacy for ME unifies the continuing efforts of various stakeholders to address the increasing demands of literacy skills.

NAEP is a well-established common measure of student achievement across the country. Beardsley said, “Since all states approach standards differently, NAEP is important to states because it uses a single NAEP-developed measuring stick to allow comparison of progress between states, and it is not intended to replace each state’s unique learning standards and assessments.”

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is known for its ongoing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. In 2017, for the first time across the nation, students will take NAEP online.

For more information contact: Director of Communications, Anne Gabbianelli at anne.gabbianelli@maine.gov or call 624-6747.

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