Category Archives: Middle School

State Assessment Results for 2015-16 Now Publicly Available

Augusta – The Maine Department of Education today released state assessment results for the 2015-2016 school year.

“We are confident in this year’s test results, and hope parents, teachers, administrators, and other interested parties will value and utilize the data gathered through the assessment process,” said Dr. Charlene Tucker, Maine DOE’s Assessment and Accountability Team Coordinator.

The public may access the results at https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

Key results include:

  • Assessment participation improved substantially in 2015-16.
  • 50.58% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in English language arts/literacy.
  • 38.31% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in mathematics.
  • 60.97% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in science.

For ELA/literacy and mathematics, 2015-16 is a new baseline year and should not be compared to previous years when different assessments were administered.  Based on changes made during the 127th Maine Legislature, the state used a new assessment partner to administer a different state assessment of English language arts/literacy and mathematics in 2015-16.

The new assessments adopted for 2015-2016, eMPowerME (grades 3-8) and SAT (3rd year high school), measure Maine’s college and readiness standards established in 2011. The eMPowerME assessment was delivered by computer.

Results were released later this year than initially planned due to the time necessary to establish achievement levels and process data for brand new assessments, as well as the time it takes to build a new reporting platform. Maine will use the same assessments and the same reporting system for the 2016-17 year and it is planned for results to be available in the summer of 2017.

Further detailed information on the results is available below.

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2015-16 Statewide Results for English Language Arts/Literacy

The general ELA/literacy assessment, eMPowerME, was taken by most students in grades 3-8.  Most students in the third year of high school were assessed using the SAT, which has been adopted as Maine’s ELA/literacy high school assessment.  Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities were assessed on the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA).  More information about the ELA/literacy assessments can be found here:  http://maine.gov/doe/assessment/math-ela/home.html.

2015-16 Participation (ELA/Literacy)
Of the 93,554  students eligible to participate in state assessment of ELA/literacy, 91,208 participated.  The participation rate of 97.49% is an improvement over the 2014-15 participation rate of 89.92%.  Participation is summarized here:

Eligible to Participate 93,554
Participated General (eMPowerME) 77,443
Participated General (SAT) 12,534
Participated Alternate (MSAA) 1,231
Total Participants 91,208
Participation Rate 97.49%
Percent of Participants Who Took Alternate 1.35%

2015-16 Performance (ELA/Literacy)

  Participants Well Below State Expectations Below State Expectations At State Expectations Above State Expectations
  Number Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
eMPowerME 77,443 15,656 20.22% 23,779 30.71% 25,346 32.73% 12,662 16.35%
SAT 12,534 2,731 21.79% 2,342 18.69% 5,820 46.43% 1,641 13.09%
MSAA 1,231 345 28.03% 217 17.63% 372 30.22% 297 24.13%
TOTAL 91,208 18,732 20.54% 26,338 28.88% 31,538 34.58% 14,600 16.01%

The Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) provides additional information about the 2015-16 ELA/literacy assessment results for each school and each district, as well as for student subgroups.

MAARS is publicly accessible at:  https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

2015-16 Statewide Results for Mathematics

The general mathematics assessment, eMPowerME, was taken by most students in grades 3-8.  Most students in the third year of high school were assessed using the SAT.  Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities were assessed on the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA).  More information about the mathematics assessments can be found here:  http://maine.gov/doe/assessment/math-ela/home.html.

Participation (Mathematics)
Of the 93,915 students eligible to participate in state assessment of mathematics, 91,541 participated.  The participation rate of 97.47% is an improvement over the 2014-15 participation rate of 89.53%.  Participation is summarized here:

Eligible to Participate 93,915
Participated General (eMPowerME) 77,741
Participated General (SAT) 12,567
Participated Alternate (MSAA) 1,233
Total Participants 91,541
Participation Rate 97.47%
Percent of Participants Who Took Alternate 1.35%

Performance (Mathematics)

  Participants Well Below State Expectations Below State Expectations At State Expectations Above State Expectations
  Number Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
eMPowerME 77,741 20,678 26.60% 27,049 34.79% 22,207 28.56% 7,807 10.04%
SAT 12,567 3,292 26.20% 4,885 38.87% 3,370 26.82% 1,020 8.12%
MSAA 1,233 321 26.03% 248 20.11% 367 29.76% 297 24.09%
TOTAL 91,541 24,291 26.54% 32,182 35.15% 25,944 28.34% 9,124 9.97%

The Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) provides additional information about the 2015-16 mathematics assessment results for each school and each district, as well as for student subgroups.  MAARS is publicly accessible at:  https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

2015-16 Statewide Results for Science

The general science assessment, MEA Science, was taken by most students in grades 3-8 and in the third year of high school. The science assessment in grades 5, 8 and the third year of high school remained unchanged for 2015-16.  The Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for science and its alternate for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP), have both assessed the progress of Maine’s students in science for many years.

More information about the science assessments can be found here:  http://maine.gov/doe/assessment/science/index.html.

Participation (Science)
Of the 40,423 students eligible to participate in state assessment of science, 38,568 participated.  The participation rate of 95.41% is an improvement over the 2014-15 participation rate of 90.36%.  Participation is summarized here:

Eligible to Participate 40,423
Participated General (MEA Science) 38,107
Participated Alternate (PAAP) 461
Total Participants 38,568
Participation Rate 95.41%
Percent of Participants Who Took Alternate 1.19%

Performance (Science)

  Participants Well Below State Expectations Below State Expectations At State Expectations Above State Expectations
  Number Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
MEA Science 38,107 4,831 12.68% 10,022 26.30% 19,018 49.91% 4,236 11.12%
PAAP 461 74 16.05% 125 27.11% 215 46.64% 47 10.20%
TOTAL 38,568 4,905 12.72% 10,147 26.31% 19,233 49.87% 4,283 11.10%

The Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) provides additional information about the 2015-16 science assessment results for each school and each district, as well as for student subgroups.

MAARS is publicly accessible at:  https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

Comparing 2015-16 Results to Previous Years

  • For mathematics and ELA/literacy at grades 3-8, direct comparisons should not be made across years. While every effort was made to ensure that the 2015-16 achievement levels are at a similar level of rigor to that of the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced assessment, the tests are different in many ways, and it is unpredictable how different features of the assessments may have impacted the performance of different populations of students.
  • At the high school level, there is no comparability between the 2015-16 SAT results and the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced results.  First, the group of high school students tested in 2014-15 was seriously impacted by an opt-out trend, which was resolved in 2015-16.  Second, Maine’s SAT achievement levels were determined by a collaborative process with other states that also used the SAT as their statewide assessment in 2015-16.  Utilizing several sources of data, including the input of educators from each state, the consensus across states was to use the College Board’s College and Career Readiness Benchmark as the cut score to define the threshold between Level 2 (Below State Expectations) and Level 3 (At State Expectations).  The scores of 530 in mathematics and 480 in ELA/literacy (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) are benchmarks that the College Board has determined predict success in college as follows:
    • Students with an SAT Math section score that meets or exceeds the benchmark have a 75 percent chance of earning at least a C in first-semester, credit-bearing college courses in algebra, statistics, pre-calculus, or calculus.
    • Students with an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) section score that meets or exceeds the benchmark have a 75 percent chance of earning at least a C in first-semester, credit-bearing college courses in history, literature, social sciences, or writing classes.
  • Science results (both PAAP and MEA Science) are fully comparable to years past.  MEA Science results over time follow:
Science Trends:  Percentage of Students Scoring at Level 3 or 4
Year Grade 5 Grade 8 3rd Year High School
2008-09 55.83% 61.99% 41.00%
2009-10 63.82% 71.83% 41.00%
2010-11 64.59% 70.82% 44.00%
2011-12 62.50% 72.10% 44.41%
2012-13 69.54% 69.98% 41.03%
2013-14 62.86% 73.12% 43.77%
2014-15 64.89% 71.06% 43.00%
2015-16 62.88% 72.97% 46.59%

Conclusions

  • Assessment participation improved substantially in 2015-16.  Science participation increased from 90.36% in 2014-15 to 95.41% in 2015-16.  ELA/literacy participation improved from 89.92% in 2014-15 to 97.49% in 2015-16.  Mathematics participation improved from 89.53% in 2014-15 to 97.47% in 2015-16.  Based on federal and state expectations, we strive for 95% participation in our assessment.
  •  For ELA/literacy and mathematics, 2015-16 is a new baseline year and should not be compared to previous years when different assessments were administered.
  • Alternate assessments are intended for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.  The 2015-2016 alternate assessment for Maine students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA), was the same assessment administered in 2014-15, known then as the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC). Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the state is expected keep participation in alternate assessment to no more than 1.0% of the students assessed beginning with the 2016-17 assessment administration.  Maine’s 2015-16 percentages of 1.19% in science, 1.35% in mathematics, and 1.35% in ELA/literacy exceed the limit under ESSA.  The Maine DOE has provided increased training in the proper identification of students who are eligible for participation in alternate asssessments in order to improve that rate in 2015-16.
  • 50.58% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in English language arts/literacy.  This is a new baseline from which we will measure the growth of Maine’s students.
  • 38.31% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in mathematics.  This is a new baseline from which we will measure the growth of Maine’s students.
  • 60.97% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in science.  This is essentially the same as the 61% who scored at Level 3 or 4 in 2014-15.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 provides an opportunity for Maine to rethink how supports to schools are determined and how to provide supports that are proportional to district and/or school needs. The Maine DOE is currently working with a diverse group of stakeholders to design a new accountability/school review system.  Further information regarding this process can be located at: http://maine.gov/doe/essa.
  • The data in this report is assessment data which includes all tested students.  It is not intended for accountability purposes.  Accountability reporting will follow.

Questions
Media inquiries: jamie.e.logan@maine.gov.

General assessments (eMPowerME, SAT, MEA Science):  nancy.godfrey@maine.gov

Alternate assessments (MSAA, PAAP):  sue.nay@maine.gov

Assessment policy:  charlene.tucker@maine.gov

Navigating MAARS system:  varun.motay@maine.gov

Biddeford Middle School Music Teacher among top 25 semi-finalists nationwide for Music Educator of the Year

Biddeford Middle School Music Teacher Amy Delorge was recently named a top 25 semi-finalist from a field of 2,000 nominees nationwide for Music Educator of the Year.  The winner will be named on December 15, 2016 at the Chicago Midwest International Band Clinic.

“It is an honor to be considered among those who make such tremendous contributions to the field of music education in this prestigious group,” stated Delorge, a music teacher for 24 years.  “This nomination is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the Biddeford Middle School Band Program and its consistent growth serving our school and community.”

The eligibility criteria include: current, full-time educators in the U.S. who teach music in public, private or homeschools K-16; five or more years of music education and/or performance experience; demonstrate successful transferring of knowledge and passion to their students in hopes of developing their creative skills; conducted personal research and are experts in music history, theory, processes and techniques; and have devoted a major part of their careers to the advancement of music education.

Schools to offer CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction

Schools to offer CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) instruction

The 127th Maine Legislature passed LD 556, “An Act to Require Public Schools to Offer Instruction Related to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the Use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).” Consequently, Maine Department of Education rule Chapter 41 has been adopted.

All students must now be offered training in how to perform CPR and understand how to use an AED prior to graduation.  This includes the current senior class.  Details of Chapter Rule 41 are available on the state website, but a few key points to note are:

  • This rule requires school districts to offer all students training in CPR and the use of AEDs some time prior to graduation. The instruction can happen for students at any time in middle or high school.
  • The requirement is NOT for certification in CPR or AED use; however a certification course would meet the requirement.
  • Hands only CPR with a psychomotor skills component will meet the CPR requirement and does not require a certified instructor. The American Heart Association (AHA), the American Red Cross or other nationally-recognized programs offer the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular guidelines. They also incorporate psychomotor skills development into the instruction.  There are several online resources available for teachers or other instructors to utilize.
  • The standards for instruction in AED use may not require the use of an AED but must include an explanation of AED use.
  • All public schools, including charter schools, are required to comply with this rule.

To support implementation of this new law, the AHA Maine Founders Affiliate and the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance have secured a number of CPR in Schools Training Kits.  If you are interested in borrowing a kit, you can click here to download the form or contact kathymwilbur@gmail.com.

For more information on the new requirement contact Susan Berry, Maine DOE’s Health Education & Health Promotion Coordinator, at susan.berry@maine.gov.

Skowhegan Area Middle School Reading Interventionist named Maine’s 2017 Teacher of the Year

In a surprise assembly at MSAD 54’s Skowhegan Area Middle School (SAMS) on Thursday, Oct. 13, Maine State Board of Education Chair Martha Harris announced Tammy Ranger had been chosen from a field of 300 nominees as Maine’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.

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Districts asked to designate assessment coordinator

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Wednesday, Sept. 7 to superintendents requesting they identify a district assessment coordinator to coordinator and ensure a successful administration of the 2016-17 State assessments.

Dear Superintendents,

As we begin another school year, your district will again identify individuals in key roles in the NEO Staff System. On behalf of the assessment team, I am asking you to consider carefully your choice of the individual designated as the District Assessment Coordinator (DAC). While the DAC may not be directly responsible for all the details associated with the various assessments, the Maine DOE will count on this individual to be familiar with all State assessments in order to help address any issues that may occur.

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Maine educators receive presidential recognition for excellence in math and science

Four Maine educators are among 213 mathematics and science teachers recognized by President Obama as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science (PAEMST). The educators will receive their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 8.

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2016 Summer Literacy Institute expected to draw nearly 400 educators

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Education’s literacy team is conducting one-day workshops in Portland and Brewer this month to support Maine educators as they continue to develop proficiency systems in their schools. Sessions will focus on development of effective routines and strategies that have the greatest impact on student achievement.

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Preliminary assessment participation data available

The following priority notice was sent on July 12

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to share preliminary participation rate data for general assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy for grades 3-8 (eMPower™ME) and third year high school (SAT).

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Math teaching improves for students with disabilities

The Maine Department of Education provided three of its five days of intensive Foundations of Math training last month to some 30 educators in the Lewiston-Auburn and Turner areas. The rest of the training will take place in early August. The training is an integral piece of Maine DOE’s “Math4ME” special education initiative, designed to improve math achievement for Maine students with disabilities.

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Digital, hands-on learning through storytelling is focus of student conference Thursday

AUGUSTA – Imagine! Learning by making and doing, storytelling, programming and coding; that’s what students love and there is a hands-on learning conference designed just for them. Maine’s Learning Technology Initiative is holding its 2016 MLTI Student Conference on Thursday, May 26 at the University of Maine, Orono. Students from over 50 schools across Maine will gather for experiential, hands-on sessions for students to learn with their MLTI devices.

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