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

Supports for Advanced Placement and College Board assessments

As part of a notification provided in September 2015, the Maine Department of Education provided guidance regarding the removal of supports provided for some assessments administered by the College Board. This included the ACCUPLACER, PSAT/NMSQT and the former Readistep.

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, removed previously designated funding to support subsidies for Advanced Placement assessments.

In collaboration with the Title I Committee of Practitioners, the Department has determined that setting aside an additional 3% of Title I funds (beyond the mandated 7% for School Improvement and 1% for State Administration) was not in the best interest of all Maine students. This approach would have removed funding from each Title I school district, making it more challenging to support students in need. Maine receives the minimum Title IV allocation from the federal government, therefore State level activity funds available under Section 4104 are also not sufficient to support all students currently enrolled in Advanced Placement courses (Section 1003A and Section 4104).

The Department encourages local education agencies look to federal funds awarded to them under Titles I and IV to support students taking Advanced Placement courses and examinations. Below are options available:

  • Under ESSA, locally received ESEA Title I federal funds can be utilized to support Advanced Placement courses and assessments in Title I schools for the appropriately identified population as outlined in a comprehensive needs assessment, SAU consolidated plans or schoolwide plans.
  • Similarly, local education agencies receiving an allocation of funding under Title IV, Part A of ESSA may also utilize funds to support the costs associated with access to accelerated learning opportunities. Section 1112(b)(12) & 1112 (b) (13) Section 1114(b) (7)(A) (iii)(II) Section 4107(a)(3)(D).

Should you have further questions, please contact Janette Kirk, Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at 624-6707 or

eMPowerME Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy Assessment Item Review Committee Opportunity

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is currently recruiting educators to serve on item review panels for the eMPowerME Assessment in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.  The work will be facilitated by Measured Progress on June 19-21, 2018 in Portland, Maine.  Maine DOE is seeking educators with expertise in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 to serve as content reviewers.  Selected panelists will review eMPower materials for Measured Progress’s content specialists, who are eager to receive advisory feedback from Maine educators, in addition to the feedback Measured Progress seeks from its national panel.

A content reviewer’s job is to review items, passages, graphics and other stimuli based on criteria such as the following:

  • Is the content of a reading passage appropriate for the age/grade level of students?
  • Is a stimulus (e.g., graph, diagram, timeline) appropriate for the age/grade level of students?
  • Is a test item appropriate for the age/grade level of students?
  • Is a test item aligned with the targeted content standard(s)?
  • Are the scoring rules (rubrics) for open-response items aligned with the targeted content standard(s)?
  • Does a test item present a realistic task to students?
  • Will students’ responses to a test item provide information that is useful to teachers for identifying students’ strengths and needs and to plan instruction?
  • Is a mathematics test item mathematically correct?
  • Is the content of an ELA passage factually correct?

On the morning of the first day, Measured Progress content specialists will provide training on these criteria and on review procedures.  Panelists will then review new Measured Progress items and passages, and the specialists will facilitate discussions and capture your feedback.

If you are interested in being considered for one of the item review panels, please complete the online application by April 13, 2018.  If invited to participate on a panel, you must commit to attend all three days (June 19-21).  Measured Progress will pay a stipend OR substitute reimbursement for meeting attendance, and will reimburse travel expenses that conform to the guidelines we will provide to selected panelists. Applicants will be notified if they are selected or not by April 25, 2018.  Selected panelists will need to commit to the panel by May 4, 2018.

For further questions please contact Nancy Godfrey at or 207-624-6775.

Preschool & Kindergarten Assessment opportunity using Teaching Strategies Gold©

The Maine Department of Education will be supporting a cohort of public preschool & kindergarten teachers for the 2018-19 school year using Teaching Strategies Gold©, an online and authentic formative assessment tool that aligns to Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards for PreK and Maine’s College and Career Ready Standards for kindergarten.

  • Interested districts must have at least one PreK and one kindergarten teacher from the same school in order to participate, as well as principal involvement and support.
  • Teachers will be required to attend one 2-day training in August 2018, held in Augusta, as well as two check-in webinars throughout the year and a 1-day training in March 2019.


Those interested in participating should complete and submit the survey below no later than end of business on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Due to the limited number of student portfolios that can be supported, this opportunity is available on a first come, first served basis – per the date and time on the submitted application. Once the cohort has been set, a Memoranda of Understanding will be sent to each participating district for signature. Notification via email will be sent to those districts that were not selected.

April conference call

To learn more, administrators and teachers are invited to join a conference call that will be scheduled during the beginning of April. If interested in joining the call, notify Nicole Madore by Friday, March 30, 2018 at or (207) 624-6677.

Specific requirements of participation

New Teachers:

  • PK and K teachers, from the same school, attend a two-day training at the end of August 2018 (date TBD, looking at the week of August 20-24). The training will be held in Augusta.
  • Principals must attend the first day of this training.
  • PK and K teachers will attend a one day follow-up training in mid-March 2019 (date TBD, looking at March 15) in Augusta.
  • PK and K teachers complete the online TSG assessment with their students and submit at summative checkpoints tentatively set for Oct. 29, 2018, Feb. 18, 2019 and June 3, 2019.
  • PK and K teachers must participate in two webinars (one at the end of October 2018-before checkpoint 1, one at the end of January 2019-before checkpoint 2)
  • Administrators, as appropriate and in consultation with Maine DOE, will remove/eliminate duplicate assessments required by kindergarten teachers.

The 2018-19 TSG online application for participants
(must be submitted no later than end of business on Monday, April 30, 2018)

More information on Teaching Strategies Gold


For further questions please contact Nicole Madore at or (207) 624-6677.

Template Letters for School and District Leaders to Notify Parents about State Assessments

Two parent notification letter templates have been updated for use by school and district leaders in 2018 to notify parents about state assessments: one letter template for the “general assessment” and one letter template for “alternate assessments.”   These templates are available for your school or district to modify and customize with local information prior to being used to notify parents in your community about the upcoming state assessments.

Assessment Template Letters:

MEA Parent Letter

Alternate-MEA Parent Letter