This page is designed to help families understand details related to Maine's state assessments.
Do you have a question not addressed below? Use this form to submit it privately.
Questions related to:
(This page is adapted from the Maine Dept. Education page.)
Q: Should my child take the tests?
A: Our goal is for every student to engage in these
assessments and put forth their best effort. While it is true that
State and federal laws require that we test all students in grades 3-8,
and those in their third year of high school, for us it means more.
The results of these tests help us to inform our programming for
students, reflect on our teaching, and they serve as one of the many
ways that we are accountable to our community. Having all students
complete the assessment ensures that we are in compliance with our use
of federal Title IA funds, money we use to support at-risk learners.
Lastly, students at the High School are given an opportunity, without
charge, to receive an official SAT score.
Q: What are the names of all the new tests and the content/grade level each covers?
Each Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) content area assessment must
have an equivalent alternate assessment (for students with documented
MEA Math & ELA/Literacy
|MEA Alternate MSAA
||3-8 & 3rd year high school
||MEA Alternate Science PAAP
||5, 8, 3rd year high school
|ACCESS for ELLs (English Language Learners)
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
(English Language Learners)
Q: Is the assessment aligned to the Common Core?
Yes. Since 1997, Maine has had the Maine Learning Results as its State
standards for eight content areas and periodically updates them to
ensure they are aligned with the evolving expectations of colleges and
careers in the 21st century. The College and Career Readiness Standards
(those which are assessed through our standardized testing) were most
recently updated in 2011 to include Common Core as
the standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics,
better preparing our students for success in college, career and civic
life by creating deeper, more rigorous and clearer expectations for
Q: Please explain the state and federal requirements to test all students.
A: The Maine DOE is required by Maine Statutes 20-A, Section 6209, and by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Section 111l(b)(3) to
assess all students in grades 3-8 and at one point in high school in
the content areas of mathematics and English language arts
Can you clarify state law and federal law regarding opt-out? Can you
clarify a process/procedure for families wishing to opt-out? (Posted
A: Both Maine State Statues and
federal law require that “each student must be assessed by means of a
statewide assessment…". Additional legal information regarding
“opting-out” with citations in the respective federal and state laws can
be found here. If you have concerns about your child's participation in the assessment, please contact your child's school principal.
Q: Can you clarify penalties for districts/schools that fall below the participation requirement?
A: The federal regulations state: If
an SEA (the Maine Department of Education) fails to comply with the
assessment requirements in the ESEA, ED (the federal Department of
Education) has a range of enforcement actions at its disposal. These
include sending a written request to the SEA that it come into
compliance, increasing monitoring, placing a condition on the SEA's
Title I, Part A grant award or its ESEA flexibility request, placing the
SEA on high-risk status, issuing a cease and desist order, entering
into a compliance agreement with the SEA to secure compliance,
withholding all or a portion of the SEA's Title I, Part A administrative
funds, and suspending, and then withholding, all or a portion of the
State's Title I, Part A programmatic funds.
each LEA (district) that receives Title I, Part A funds assured that it
would administer its Title I, Part A program in accordance with all
applicable statutes and regulations. If an LEA fails to comply with the
assessment requirements in the ESEA, the SEA has a range of enforcement
actions similar to those of ED at its disposal. These include but are
not limited to sending a written request to the LEA that it come into
compliance, increasing monitoring, placing a condition on the LEA's
Title I, Part A grant award, adjusting the LEA’s risk assessment score,
entering into a compliance agreement with the LEA to secure compliance,
and withholding all or a portion of the LEA's Title I, Part A funds.
Q: What is the content area testing time required for the online grades 3-8?
This chart shows the testing time for each testing component.
||Number of Sessions
||Time per Session (min)
||Additional Time if Needed
|Writing and Language
||70 (gds 3-5),
60 (gds 6-8)
||30 (gd5), 35 (gd8)
| TOTAL BY GRADE
||3: 390 (6.5 hrs)
4: 390 (6.5 hrs)
5: 480 (8 hrs)
6: 380 (6 hrs, 20 min)
7: 380 (6hrs, 20 min)
8: 485 (appx 8hrs)
Q: How do these times compare to last year's assessments?
A: Last year's tests were untimed. This year, the students will be required to complete the assessments within the times-frames described above.
Q: Are practice test items available?
A: Practice test items will be available here.
Q: Will the assessment be paper-based or online?
A: The assessment will be online.
Q: Will the grades 3-8 include a writing component at every grade level?
A: Yes, there will be a writing component at each grade 3-8 and also 3rd year high school.
Q: What is the spring testing window?
A: The spring testing window for grades 3-8 is proposed to be 4 weeks March 20st – April 14th. Your child's school will schedule testing within that window, and inform you of those plans.
Q: What do we do about our students receiving fee waivers for this school day SAT?
A: As the SAT is the required assessment for 3rd year
high school for Math & ELA/Literacy, there is no fee for taking the
test. For students receiving assistance through free and reduced lunch
program, there are additional fee waivers for sending scores, Q&A
Service discount, college application fees, etc.
If students took the SAT at another scheduled time already this year, can those scores be used in lieu of testing again in the
spring on April 5, 2017? And, can such students opt out of the test
without it being detrimental to the school's scores and ratings?
Unfortunately, this is not a possibility. The School-Day SAT will serve as the state assessment. Each school’s participation rate
depends on students participating in that school-day administration, so
participation rate would be affected.
Q: Are international students allowed to take the school-day SAT?
The Maine DOE provides the state assessment program to all students
whose education is provided at Maine public expense. If international
students are part of a student exchange program, they are considered
Maine’s public school students during their stay. If they are enrolled
in Infinite Campus State Edition (ICSE) in as third year high
school/grade 11, they are expected to participate in the testing program.
If students are here through privately paid tuition, the publically funded SAT is not available to them. They are not allowed to register/pay individually and take the SAT on the state assessment day.
Q: Will non-3rd year high school students be allowed to take the SAT during the school day administration on April 5th?
A: No, the school day SAT is for enrolled 3rd year high school students only.
Q: Will the SAT be on a school day or Saturday? Will districts have a choice?
A: Districts will not have a choice. The SAT will be on a School Day Tuesday April 5th with School Day make-up Wednesday April 25th.
Q: Will the 3rd year high school/SAT include a writing component?
A: Yes, there is a writing component and the essay in the redesigned SAT is NOT optional.
Q: Will the state be paying for students to take the test in March or May?
A: No. The school-day SAT that will be funded and required by the Department.
Q: Will the SAT be included in the (accountability) report card for Maine schools?
A: Yes, the SAT be included in the (accountability) report card for Maine schools.
Q: If the SAT is given during the school day, and not on Saturday, can these scores be used for college applications?
A: Yes, SAT scores can be used for college applications.