Maine is implementing high standards – but has implemented three different assessments in the past three years.
While the Common Core State Standards are aligned to college- and career-readiness expectations, Maine’s three assessments in three years does not suggest strong implementation of the standards or indicate overall alignment of the state’s system.
Maine’s new proficiency-based high school diploma will be phased in beginning with the class of 2021.
The proficiency-based diploma is intended to ensure all students graduate high school having demonstrated mastery of the state’s academic content standards so that they may succeed in postsecondary education or work. However, there are multiple pathways for demonstrating proficiency/mastery, and it is unclear how there will be consistency across all of them. In addition, Maine has not aligned the way it will measure proficiency for diploma purposes and the way it does so for accountability purposes.
Maine has used the SAT as its high school accountability assessment for a number of years.
On one hand, the SAT is familiar to students and families, and it is recognized at colleges all across the country. On the other hand, while offering the SAT as the state’s official test offers many benefits, some of those may not extend fully to all students who require accommodations.
Maine may consider adding a science assessment to its accountability system.
Adding science achievement to the accountability system would be a way for the state to help counteract curriculum narrowing.
Lastly, Maine should strengthen its plan by ensuring that it has a process in place to meet the 1 percent cap on alternate assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.