Maine Receives Approval to Waive Assessment, Accountability and School Identifications

Thank you, educators, school and district leaders, for all the work you’re doing keeping students and families educationally engaged during this challenging time.

The Maine Department of Education  is excited to announce that the request submitted to the U.S. Department of Education to waive assessments, accountability and school identifications (SY 20-21) has been granted with formal written approval to be received in the coming weeks.

As a result of this waiver, the Department will not implement:

  • Assessment requirements in section 1111(b)(2): the requirements to administer all required assessments in school year 2019-2020.

Maine will not administer the following assessments during the spring 2020 assessment window:

  • eMPowerME (Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – grades 3 -8)
  • SAT (Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – 3rd year of high school)
  • Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA -Math & English Language Arts/Literacy – grades 3 -8)
  • Science (grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school)
  • Science Alternate Assessment (SAA – grades 5, 8 and 3rd year of high school)

Accountability and school identification requirements in sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D): the requirements that a State annually meaningfully differentiate all public schools and the requirements to identify schools for comprehensive and targeted support and improvement and additional targeted support and improvement based on data from the 2019-2020 school year.

Maine will not identify additional schools eligible to receive supports in the 2020-2021 school year.

Report card provisions (ESSA Data Dashboard) related to certain assessments and accountability in section 1111(h) based on data from the 2019-2020 school year.

Maine will not publicly report the following items within the ESSA Dashboard: 

  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(i) (accountability system description).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(ii) (assessment results).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iii)(I) (other academic indicator results – in Maine this is academic growth).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iv) (English language proficiency assessment results).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(v) (school quality or student success indicator results – in Maine this is chronic absenteeism).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vi) (progress toward meeting long-terms goals and measurements of interim progress).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vii) (percentage of students assessed and not assessed – participation rate).
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(xi) (number and percentage of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities taking an alternate assessment).
  • Section 1111(h)(2)(C) with respect to all waived requirements in section 1111(h)(1)(C) as well as 1111(h)(2)(C)(i)-(ii) (information showing how students in a local educational agency (LEA) and each school, respectively, achieved on the academic assessments compared to students in the State and LEA).

Public comment is still required regarding Maine’s application to waive the above requirements. Information related to public comment can be located in the DOE Newsroom. Public comment is open through April 10, 2020.  Comments can be submitted to ESSA.DOE@maine.gov.

Further questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov