Resources from the Assessment Team

Welcome to the 2023-24 School Year!

State assessments are designed to measure what a student knows and can do in relation to grade level content. These assessments play a critical role at the federal, state and local levels in decision making and the allocation of necessary supports and resources to schools.

Here we provide information for assessment coordinators, educators, and families. For more assessment-specific resources, please visit each assessment's webpage, organized in the left-hand menu by content area.

Resources for Assessment Coordinators

Maine Comprehensive Assessment System Guidelines 2023-2024 PDF

The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MECAS) Guidelines 2023-2024 provides schools with participation, enrollment, and administration, questions or concerns. The MECAS Guidelines should be used in conjunction with each MEA's Coordinator/Administration Manual.

Office Hours Recordings and Q&A - Register for Office Hours!

September 13, 2023

October 11, 2023

  • Recording - will be posted when available
  • Slides
  • Q&A

November 8, 2023

  • Recording - will be posted when available
  • Slides
  • Q&A
Resources for Educators

Assessment Literacy Basics

In these modules, you will learn about what balanced assessment systems and Summative Assessment, and why they are beneficial to students.

A Google form is included at the end of each module and can be completed to earn a contact hours certificate.

Resources for Families

Why Does Maine Use a Statewide Assessment System?

Assessing student learning is an essential aspect of education, as it provides data that can lead to improved instruction and outcomes. The Maine Comprehensive Assessment System, or MECAS, provides information about the academic progress of students, schools, and the state as a whole. The variety of assessments allows for comparisons between Maine students and students in other states and nations. These comparisons can help educators, families and communities, and educational agencies measure quality of curriculum, address achievement gaps, and understand where additional supports may be needed.

Our Assessments

Maine Science Assessment

MSAA & MSAA Science

  • What is an alternate assessment and how does one qualify? 

    Alternate assessments are designed to evaluate students with cognitive needs which deviate from those associated with the larger student body. They include built-in supports, such as reduced passage length in reading, pictures and graphics included to help students understand, and the option to have the entire test read aloud. Consult this flow chart to determine whether or not a student qualifies for an alternate assessment.


National and International Assessments

Federal Requirements for State Assessments

Section 1111(b)(2)(B) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 requires the same assessment be used to measure the achievement of all public elementary and secondary school students in the state.

Section 1111(b)(2)(B) Requirements: The assessments under subparagraph (A) shall - (i) Except as provided in subparagraph (D), be
(I) The same academic assessments used to measure the achievement of all public elementary school and secondary school students in the State; And (II) Administered to all public elementary school and secondary school students in the State;

Section 1111(c)(4)(E) of ESSA indicates: (E) Annual Assessment of Achievement - (i) Annually measure the achievement of not less than 95 percent of all students, and 95 of all students in each subgroup of students, who are enrolled in public schools on the assessments described under subsection (b)(2)(v)(I). (ii)For the purpose of measuring, calculating and reporting on the indicator described in subparagraph (B)(i), include in the denominator the greater of
(I) 95 percent of all students, or 95 percent of all such students in the subgroup, as the case may be; or (II) The number of students participating in the assessments (III) Provide a clear and understandable explanation of how the State will factor the requirement of clause (i) of this subparagraph into the statewide accountability system.

Federal statute requires that parents receive a notification indicating their right to request the districts policies and procedures regarding student participation in state and local assessments. When this information is requested, the district will provide all applicable information to families. The district should be prepared to provide families with their assessment related policies and procedures, this would include an non-participation (opt-out) procedure if the district and school has such a procedure in place.

Section 1112(e)(2)(A) of ESSA indicates: (2) Testing transparency
(A) In general At the beginning of each school year, a local educational agency that receives funds under this part shall notify the parents of each student attending any school receiving funds under this part that the parents may request, and the local educational agency will provide the parents on request (and in a timely manner), information regarding any State or local educational agency policy regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by Section 1111(b)(2) and by the State or local education agency, which shall include a policy, procedure, or parental right to opt the child out of such assessment, where applicable.