PRESS RELEASE: Maine’s reading and mathematics test scores at or above national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Augusta – Maine’s fourth and eighth graders scored at the national average or higher on the recently released 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests of Reading and Mathematics.

NAEP highlights the statewide academic performance for all students, as well as demographic groups including race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status. The test is administered every other year to students in all 50 states, and does not include results for individual students, schools, or classrooms.

Maine’s scores and key information:

  • Maine students scored at the national average or higher, consistent with previous years.
  • Maine students did not show any significant change in performance in either mathematics or reading in grades four and eight when compared to the results in 2015.
  • Reading scores indicate a gender gap at the 4th and 8th grade levels with boys performing lower. The gender achievement gap appears to be increasing as students get older.
  • Math scores did not indicate a gender achievement gap.
Average Scale Scores
NAEP Scores National Public 2017
Assessment Area and Grade 2011 2013 2015 2017
Math Grade 04 244 246 242 240 239
Math Grade 08 289 289 285 284 282
Reading Grade 04 222 225 224 221 221
Reading Grade 08 270 269 268 269 265
 (Scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.)
For a detailed look at the each of the state’s scores including Maine, visit NAEP’s website.

“Maine students face unique challenges today that can have an impact on their learning. While I am pleased that our students are maintaining performance, the Department will continue to focus on effective strategies to improve achievement of mathematics and literacy in all grades,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr.

“In addition to the Department’s MoMEntum Literacy Pilot program, we are also embarking on a similar strategy called Numeracy4ME to support schools in their efforts to improve student achievement in math. It is my hope that we can expand these programs as we continue to develop them,” he added.

More information about the MoMEntum and Numeracy for ME pilot programs can be found at the following links:

NAEP scores are only one of many measures of the achievement level of Maine’s students and should not be used in isolation from other data.  The Maine Educational Assessments, such as the eMPowerME, Multi-State Alternate Assessment, and SAT, also provide valuable information about the knowledge and skills of Maine’s students.  Additionally, formative assessments and locally developed academic measurements are essential parts of a school’s instructional program.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.  Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly using the same sets of test booklets across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and selected urban districts. The assessment stays essentially the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. This permits NAEP to provide a clear picture of student academic progress over time with respect to a specific set of learning goals.  As noted above, however, as standards and goals for learning evolve and teachers emphasize new content, and perhaps deemphasize other content, this stability means NAEP may not be able to adequately capture learning with respect to new standards.   NAEP does provide results on subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., all fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students).

The contents of this paragraph were retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center of Education Statistics website
Media contact:
Rachel Paling, Director of Communications, Maine Department of Education

Maine DOE begins math achievement pilot program in 6 Maine elementary schools

The Maine Department of Education is embarking on a new initiative called the Numeracy4ME K-4 Mathematics Pilot program. The project is designed to improve the mathematics achievement of students in kindergarten through grade four in 6 pilot schools: Academy Hill, Cherryfield Elementary School, Cornville Charter School, G.D. Cushing School, Indian Township School, and Milbridge Elementary School.

Students in kindergarten through grade four in the pilot schools are the focus of the Numeracy4ME Project. These learners will be supported by their teachers, who will be engaging in high quality professional learning on numeracy related instructional practices delivered by trained mathematics specialists. In addition, each school will be supported by a Maine Department of Education mathematics specialist coach.

Schools were selected based on mathematics achievement, defined by Maine Education Assessment (MEA) proficiency rates in Grades 3 and 4, and economic need, defined by free and reduced lunch counts. The pilot includes schools in two Regions: Washington County and Franklin/Somerset County.

As a pilot project, the Numeracy4ME program is designed to study results of implementation to inform decisions about extending the opportunity to other Maine schools in the future.  The resources available to support the project are limited to 25 teachers in each region.

The Numeracy4ME Pilot Project will run from January 2018 through June 2018 and, pending funding, will continue through July 2019.

For more information about the Numeracy4ME Pilot Project contact Cheryl Toby, Mathematics Specialist for the Maine Department of Education at

Maine Mathematics Coaching Project: Grant funded tuition support for cohort 4 applicants

The Maine Mathematics Coaching Project at the University of Maine at Farmington is offering a special opportunity to new math coaching candidates who apply and are accepted to Cohort 4 by March 15, 2018.

These students will receive $2500 of their first year membership paid for through the DOE Mathematics Science Partnership Grant.

In order to qualify for these one-time, limited funds, interested parties must complete the Maine Mathematics Coaching Project assurances and application by March 15th. Applications and assurances received after March 15, 2018 will be responsible for the full $6000 first year membership.

For more information please contact Sandra MacArthur at


2018 Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy Assessment Administration Training

Statewide workshop training will be provided on the administration of the 2018 Mathematics & ELA/Literacy assessments.

Tuesday 2/6/18 in Portland
Wednesday 2/7/18 in Augusta
Thursday 2/8/18 in Bangor
Friday 2/9/18 in Caribou

Description of Training Sessions: There will be two separate training sessions each day, see details below.

Morning training sessions will focus on the Grades 3-8 Mathematics & ELA/Literacy (eMPowerME) online assessment.

  1. Who should attend: The morning sessions are intended for Maine District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and one other designated participant (such as Technology Coordinators or School Test Coordinators) with a limit of TWO (2) registrants total per district. There will be subsequent webinar trainings for Test Administrators.
  2. Morning eMPowerME Session: This training will be about the eMPowerME online platform in preparation for the spring 2018 MEA Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy test administration to include: eMPowerME Portal test administration system overview and demonstrations; student test delivery system (eMPowerME Kiosk); technology requirements and specifications; online student tutorial (via Kiosk only this year); Portal & Kiosk updates for 2018; paper-based sample items; accessibility and accommodations.

Afternoon training sessions will focus on the High School Mathematics & ELA/Literacy (SAT) paper assessment.

  1. Who should attend: The afternoon training sessions are intended for Maine District Assessment Coordinators (DACs), high school SAT Test Center Supervisors and/or SAT SSD with a limit of THREE (3) registrants total per district.
  2. Afternoon SAT description: This training session will provide a detailed overview of the SAT administration as educators prepare for the April 10, 2018 administration of SAT School Day in Maine. Enhancements regarding College Board updates for 2017-18 include: students not required to supply a photo ID; discontinued use of SAT admission tickets; and changes to the student questionnaire (SDQ) process. In addition to reviewing key dates and deadlines, this session will provide a general overview of the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) process.

Registrations open Monday January 8, 2018 on the DOE Assessment Website or DOE Professional Development Calendar. Questions can be addressed to:

Nancy Godfrey 624-6775 or

Maine’s 2017 Presidential Awards State Finalists for grades 7-12th Mathematics and Science Teachers

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce the Maine state selection committees for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program has selected as the state-level finalists for 7-12th grade teachers of mathematics Ellen Payne from Nokomis Regional High School and Priya Natarajan from Casco Bay High for Expeditionary Learning School.

The state-level finalists for 7-12th grade teachers of science are Sharon Gallant from Gardiner Area High School, Sara McQuarrie from Hodgdon Middle/High School, Bill McWeeny from Adams School, and Alyson Saunders from Dexter Regional High School.

All State-level finalists will be honored at state ceremonies this year.

Up to five state-level finalists for each content area are forwarded to a national selection committee composed of mathematics and/or science educators, researchers, district officials, and past awardees who will meet to select the PAEMST awardees at the national level. The teachers chosen to be Presidential Awardees will be notified by the White House, honored at various ceremonies in Washington, D.C., and will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.


Join us in congratulating the 2017 PAEMST State Finalist and wishing them luck in the national selection process.

Nominations are now open for the 2018 PAEMST Awards. This year’s awards will honor mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers working in grades K-6. Nominations close on April 1, 2018 and applications are due by May 1, 2018. Nominate a teacher today!

If you have any questions about the PAEMST program feel free to contact:

Michele Mailhot – PAEMST Mathematics State Coordinator (  or Shari Templeton – PAEMST Science State Coordinator (