Maine DOE Thanks Maine Educators Serving on Multi-State Alternate Assessment Item Review Committee

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) wishes to thank the ten Maine educators who recently participated in the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) Item Review Committee in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

MSAA is Maine’s alternate assessment is based on alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAAS) in ELA/literacy and mathematics, for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who have been found eligible by the IEP Team.  As a partner in the MSAA Consortium, Maine engages actively in the ongoing development cycle of this assessment throughout the year. As a result of this collaboration, Maine’s students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in state assessment that has been designed with input from the same dedicated and expert Maine educators who serve this population every day.

During the Item Review Committee, Maine educators served on panels to review proposed items for the Spring 2023 MSAA.  Items were reviewed for both alignment to content and potential bias and sensitivity issues. Panelists also provided critical feedback on the accessibility of items across diverse student populations.  During this experience, Maine participants collaborated with educators from across the MSAA Partner Entities: TN, AZ, MT, DC, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department of Defense Schools, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The expertise of Maine educators is critical to the development of the state’s alternate assessments. Their engagement ensures that Maine continues to strive towards high standards and achievement for all Maine students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Many thanks to the following panelists for sharing their time and expertise during this review!

 

Panelist Opportunities for Maine Science Educators 

The Maine Department of Education is currently recruiting elementary (5th grade) educators and alternate participants (grades 8 and 3rd year of high school) to participate in an upcoming standard setting for the state’s science assessment, Maine (MEA) Science.

Maine educators and the DOE play a crucial role in the development of this assessment for students. No prior experience with standard setting or standard setting methodology is required however, panelists should be a science expert that teaches students who participate in the Maine Science assessment and have a thorough understanding of the assessed Maine Learning Results (MLRs) Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participants must be able to differentiate between student performances at different levels of achievement. Standard setting panels consist of 10 educators per grade band (grade 5, 8, and 3rd year of high school).  Panelists will have the opportunity to discuss and determine application thresholds for Maine.

Current needs include:

  • Grade 5 – 4 Educators
  • Grade 8 – Alternates*
  • 3rd year of High School – Alternates*

*Alternates need to indicate they would be available should a panelist be unable to participate.

The standard setting is scheduled to take place from July 26th – 28th 2022 in Augusta. Travel, accommodations and expenses will be covered with a daily stipend provided to selected panelists.

Please consider applying or sharing the upcoming opportunities with colleagues. The expertise and contributions of Maine educators are a critical element of the continued development cycle for these assessments.

Interested? Complete the panelist registration survey. 

Want more information? Please reach out to Janette Kirk, Chief of Federal Programs at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

Panelist Opportunities for Maine Science Educators

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is currently recruiting educators to participate in an upcoming standard setting for the state’s science assessment, Maine (MEA) Science.

Maine educators and the DOE play a crucial role in the development of this assessment for students. No prior experience with standard setting or standard setting methodology is required, however panelists should be a science expert that teaches the students who participate in the Maine Science assessment and have a thorough understanding of the assessed Maine Learning Results (MLRs) Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participants must be able to differentiate between student performances at different levels of achievement. Standard setting panels consist of ten (10) educators per grade band (grade 5, 8, and 3rd year of high school).  Panelists will have the opportunity to discuss and determine application thresholds for Maine.

The Assessment Team is currently recruiting educators with a general science background, however preference will be given to high school teachers with the following areas of science expertise to ensure broad representation of all science domains:

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Life Science
  • Earth & Space

The standard setting is scheduled to take place from July 26th – 28th 2022 in Augusta. Travel, accommodations, and expenses will be covered with a daily stipend provided to selected panelists.

Please consider applying or sharing the upcoming opportunities with colleagues. The expertise and contributions of Maine educators are a critical element of the continued development cycle for these assessments.

 

Interested? Complete the panelist registration survey or use the QR code provided below.

Want more information? Please reach out to Janette Kirk, Director of Federal Programs, at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

Maine Educators Lend Expertise to Support Assessment Development

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) would like to thank four Maine educators who recently participated in the recent Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) Bias/Sensitivity Passage Review.

The MSAA is Maine’s alternate assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.  As a partner in the MSAA Consortium, Maine participates in the ongoing development cycle of these assessments.  This participation ensures that Maine continues to strive toward increasing higher outcomes for students with cognitive disabilities, in preparation for a broad array of post-secondary opportunities.

Many thanks to the following panelists for sharing their time and expertise during this review:

Maine educators have multiple pathways to contribute to this work, and their expertise is a valued contribution to this process.  Interested in participating on future review panels?  Email Jodi Bossio-Smith, state coordinator for the alternate assessments at jodi.bossio-smith@maine.gov.

2021/22 Assessment Calendar Now Available

Thank you to the Maine educators who provided responses to the Maine Department of Education (DOE) assessment survey and attended weekly assessment office hours between February and June sharing feedback that was used to inform the construction of the 2021-2022 assessment calendar. The Maine DOE is pleased to share the finalized assessment calendar for school year 2021–2022.

Reminders related to administration of NWEA:

  • Language Usage
    Beginning with the fall 2021 administration, the NWEA language usage assessment will be administered in addition to the math and reading NWEA MAP growth assessments. Students in grades 3–8 and 3rd year of high school (HS) are required to participate in the fall and spring administration of math, reading and language usage.
  • 2nd year of high school students
    School Administrative Units (SAUs) have the option to administer the NWEA assessment to students who are in their 2nd year of high school at no cost to the SAU.
  • Winter Administration
    SAUs have the option to administer the NWEA during the winter assessment window as outlined in the MEA calendar (below). In order to ensure sufficient instructional weeks between assessment administrations, the winter NWEA assessment window is scheduled for January 17–February 10, 2022.

The finalized assessment calendar takes into consideration the following:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
    According the responses on the assessment survey, Maine educators indicated that it would be beneficial for students to be able to focus on preparing and participating in these assessments.  To accommodate this request, assessment windows for HS math, reading and language usage (NWEA) and science will be conducted during May 16–27,
  • Sufficient Instructional Time
    Maine educators also indicated a preference for assessments to be conducted, where possible, later during the spring. The science and NWEA administrations are scheduled for May 2021.
    Eighty percent (80%) of Maine SAUs indicated they will be utilizing the NWEA assessment during the winter administration window. The spring administration dates are influenced by the winter administration dates to ensure sufficient  instructional weeks between fall -> winter and winter -> spring assessment administration.
  • Staggered Implementation
    The Department did explore a staggered administration of NWEA for grades 3-8 and high school however, this would require the assessment window remain open for both administrations. This would significantly reduce the opportunity for Maine SAUs to use text-to-speech (TTS) outside of the state assessment administration windows (see below).

Other factors influencing the construction of the assessment calendar included:

  • School Vacation
    Assessment is not staggered over spring vacation during April and therefore eliminates potential scheduling challenges and equity of administration prior to and after spring vacation.
  • Availability of Text-to-Speech (TTS)
    Educators were clear in their desire to use TTS outside of the state assessment window. TTS remains unavailable during the identified [reading] assessment windows as outlined below.  SAUs may choose to administer the NWEA assessment locally outside of the identified 4-week windows and apply/utilize the TTS functionality.  The administration of the assessment using TTS is in addition to the state required administration of the assessment

 2021-2022 Assessment Calendar:  

A copy of the assessment calendar is also located on the assessment calendar page within the Maine DOE website.

Content Area  Assessment     State Assessment Administration Window   Grades   
Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Financial Literacy PISA  (selected schools only) September 30-October 29 Age 15
Math, Reading and Language Usage* NWEA

(Required: fall window

(August 15-November 30)

 October 4-29 Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS

(2nd year HS optional)

English Language Proficiency ACCESS & Alt. ACCESS January 10-March 4 K-12/ 1-12 (alternate)
Math, Reading and Language Usage NWEA

(Optional: winter window

December 1-February 28)

 January 17-February 10 Optional: Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS /

2nd year HS)

Mathematics and Reading Grades 4 and 8

Civics and U.S. History Grade 8

NAEP  (selected schools only) January 24-March 4 Grades 4 & 8
Alternate Math & ELA Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) March 14-April 29 Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS
Alternate Science MSAA Science March 14-April 29 Grades 5, 8, 3rd year HS
Science Maine Science May 2-13 Grades 5 & 8
Maine Science May 16-27 3rd year of HS
Math, Reading and Language Usage*  NWEA

(Required: spring window

March 1-June 15)

May 2-27 Grades 3-8, 3rd year HS

(2nd year HS optional)

Further questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems.