Maine will identify 5 percent of each subgroup as schools in need of targeted support.
While it does not appear that Maine will be incorporating subgroup scores directly into its school-rating system, it does plan to identify 5 percent of each subgroup (e.g., the 5 percent of schools with the lowest-performing subgroup of black students, the 5 percent of schools with the lowest-performing subgroup of students with disabilities, etc.) as schools in need of targeted support. The state has not yet provided data behind this approach.
Maine has established a minimum subgroup threshold size of 10 students.
Maine is a largely rural state with small schools and little racial and ethnic diversity and low numbers of English learners. To include the performance of subgroups for as many schools as possible, the state has established a minimum subgroup threshold size of 10 students. To strengthen its plan, Maine might consider using multiple years of data in the accountability system to capture more subgroups and lessen the volatility with small sample sizes.
The state will lower summative ratings if schools have consistently underperforming subgroups of students.
Maine indicates that schools that are identified for targeted support because of low-performing subgroups will receive a lower summative rating than they would have received if they did not have consistently underperforming subgroups of students. While this will certainly bring attention to underperforming subgroups in those schools, it is important that there be some mechanism for ensuring that underperforming subgroups are not masked in high-performing schools.
Maine proposes to include former English language learners and students with disabilities as part of those subgroups and will track their performance for two years after they exit.
Since exiting students tend to have higher performance, the state should monitor its data to ensure it is not masking the performance of students who are still receiving services.