Priority Notice: Report Card Release to be Delayed

The Maine Department of Education will be delaying the public release of the Report Cards. It was originally anticipated that the Report Cards would be released to the public on January 7, 2019. After receiving feedback following a soft release to superintendents on December 28, 2018, the Department has decided to delay the public release in order to continue working with school and district administrators to ensure the information in the Report Cards is both accurate and clear.

The Department would like to thank the field for their critical feedback during the Report Card preview. Your prompt and thorough responses have been extremely beneficial. We would like to assure you that the Department will continue working through your questions and inquires prior to the public release.

Thank you for your patience.

Maine DOE Offers Two Opportunities to Participate in a 1% Alternate Assessment Support Webinar

Letters were sent out Friday, December 21st to all districts that have identified more than 1% of their students as alternate assessment students.  Three levels of support are offered to all districts.  Districts assigned to a level of support in Tier 2 and Tier 3 are required to attend one of the 1% Support Webinars listed below.  All other districts are welcome to attend.

The webinar will include an overview of the 1% ESSA regulation – Section §1111(b)(2)(D)(I) for providing alternate assessments, including: the definition of significant cognitive disabilities, meeting the criteria within the Participation Guidelines, how to identify students in Synergy, and how to complete the Action Plan for districts over the 1% participation threshold. Concentration on the Action Plan will look at three levels of support and what that means to districts, how to provide justifications, and a look at disproportionality.

Please contact Sue Nay at sue.nay@maine.gov or Ann Belanger at ann.belanger@maine.gov  with questions.

MEA Released Item Workshop Webinars

In November 2018, Maine DOE content specialists provided workshops to help Maine educators utilize the released items associated with Maine’s eMPower English language arts and math assessments and MEA science assessment. For those who were unable to attend, recordings of these sessions are now available.  The recordings can be accessed at the following links:

Educators will find documents related to these sessions in the file boxes included as part of the recordings or via links provided to Padlets incorporated within the recordings. Additionally, educators viewing the recordings will be encouraged to access released item data in the MAARS system.  Access to the released item data requires a user name and password which educators can obtain from their District Assessment Coordinator (DAC).

Please share the recording links with classroom teachers and instructional coaches who might not have been able to attend.

For questions or additional assistance, please contact the appropriate content specialist:

Recording & Materials from Presentation About ESSA & Report Cards

The Maine Department of Education held a presentation on Monday, December 10 about the details of Maine’s Model of School Support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which includes the release of the new, user-friendly, public Report Cards in early January. Below is a link to a recording of the session and links to the PowerPoint Presentation, in addition to all of the handouts from the presentation.

Further questions about Maine’s ESSA Plan, Maine’s Model of School Support, and the Report Cards should be directed to Acting Director of Learning Systems, Janette Kirk Janette.Kirk@maine.gov or ESEA Federal Programs & School Turnaround Director Chelsey Fortin-Trimble Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov.

Maine Education Assessments Released Items Now Available

The Maine Department of Education is excited to announce the availability of released items from Maine’s 2017/18 state assessment. As educators begin to explore the released items for MEA spring 2018, we want to clarify a few inconsistencies within English Language Arts(ELA)/Literacy and Mathematics and provide some information about released items moving forward.

ELA/Literacy:

In grade 3 eMPowerME reading, the passage students read while completing the assessment is not available for reference. Unfortunately, the assessment vendor, Measured Progress, was unable to obtain the necessary permissions to release the passage for public use. Fortunately, the passage used is a commonly known text, Corduroy, (Freeman, D. (1987). Corduroy. Harmondsworth: Puffin Books.). Educators should pay close attention to the information contained within the released item to guide use of the materials. Moving forward, the Maine DOE has taken steps to ensure that all passages utilized in any future released items will have the necessary permissions obtained for both confidential and public release.

Additionally, when the released items first became available on 11/12/18, there was a misalignment in the numbering of the ELA/Literacy released items in the Confidential MAARS portal versus the Released Item Documents found in the Measured Progress’ WordPress site. In the MAARS released item chart, the Essay item, indicated by “Item Type” WP (writing prompt), was originally reported as Released Item #01 in all grades, followed by Reading, then Writing & Language released items.

This is an example of the way ELA/Literacy Grade 3 released items chart first appeared in the confidential MAARS portal:

releasedItems1

In the Educator Support Materials for the eMPowerME Released Item Documents (pdf), the last 2 pages are Math and ELA/Literacy released item information charts. In the ELA/Literacy chart (Grade 3 example below), the Essay is presented last, and the numbers for Reading and Writing & Language correspond to the item numbers in the released item booklets, but not to the released item numbering in the MAARS chart above.releaseditems2

The placement of the Essay score (Writing Prompt/WP) has been corrected in MAARS Confidential to appear as the last item in ELA, as shown below in the sample snapshot for Grade 3:

releaseditems3

The new, correct placement of the WP/Essay score for each grade is as follows: Grade 3=#14, Grade 4=#17, Grade 5=#14, Grades 6, 7, and 8=#16.

Mathematics:

When the released items became available on 11/12/18, there was a constructed response (CR) item in math omitted from the MAARS confidential reports in every grade 3-8. eMPowerME math released items include multiple choice items (MC), multi-select items (MS), and one (1) constructed response item (CR) per grade level. The math CR items have now been added to MAARS Confidential and are slotted in the tables according to the placement of the CR in the released items. The Math CRs are scored in 2 parts: Concepts & Procedures Standard (CPS) and Mathematical Process Standard (MPS) as shown below in the sample snapshot for Grade 3:

releaseditems4

NOTE: ELA/Literacy & Mathematics – The best way to align the released item numbering from the charts in MAARS to the released item PDFs is to follow the Tables on the last 2 pages of each grade level’s pdf titled “2018 Mathematics Released Item Information” and “2018 English Language Arts Released Item Information”.

Future eMPowerME Released Items:

The Maine DOE is committed to providing as many resources as possible to support instructional practice. One such support is the availability of released items. Unfortunately, the frequency in which the Maine DOE is able to release items is currently limited to 2017/2018 and 2019/2020. We will be unable to release items from the 2018/2019 test administration. There are many factors that have impacted this decision and the Maine DOE is exploring how to increase the frequency of releasing items while not increasing the amount of testing time for students. It should be noted that although released items will not be provided from the 2018/19 test administration, educators will still have access to the released items from the 2017/18 test administration in addition to the already available sample items.

Further questions can be directed to Lee Anne Larsen, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at 624-6628 or Leeann.Larsen@maine.gov