Amid fallout from PARCC® and Smarter Balanced® and uncertainty about state testing programs, recent news reports indicate that the consortia and individual states are moving on. And, with the ESEA reauthorization, the federal government is moving forward, too.
Recent News in Statewide Assessment
- On Dec. 2 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ESEA reauthorization, the “Every Student Succeeds” Act. After a long wait, this replacement of No Child Left Behind reaffirms the government’s commitment to annual statewide assessments.
- PARCC announced that it will introduce a tiered system of options for states that want to take advantage of its high-quality items and/or retain the ability to link their assessments to PARCC results.
- The Massachusetts Board of Education decided to develop “MCAS 2.0”—a new assessment system to be introduced in spring 2017, which will include both MCAS and PARCC items and continue the state’s history of leadership in assessment.
- Maine has a new accountability assessment system, which is based on a new program from . . . Measured Progress! Maine officially announced our contract award on Dec. 3. The program provides assessments based on college- and career-readiness standards in grades 3–8 and high school. As a vendor and partner with Maine for assessment programs since 1985, we’re excited to enter this new venture with our trusted colleagues.
eMPower Maine Assessment
Maine’s program represents the debut of our new complete assessment system, eMPower® Assessments in reading, writing, and math for grades 3–8. Responding to Maine’s requirements for Maine-specific test content, contract activities include working with Maine educators to create content geared specifically to Maine’s needs. In addition, the new assessments will provide links to Maine’s recent assessments.
The resulting program is “eMPower Maine,” a version of eMPower Assessments by Measured Progress. eMPower Maine will provide valuable continuity while moving forward in a new system that provides clear, actionable information for educators and students.
Exclusive Connection to the SAT
The other big news about eMPower Maine is that the high school component of the program is the SAT—an authoritative measure of readiness for life beyond high school. Our exclusive partnership with the College Board provides the SAT during the school day at no personal cost to Maine’s third-year high-school students, and connects the students and their families with the many resources associated with the SAT.
But wait, there’s more! We are linking the eMPower score scale with that of the SAT Suite of Assessments: We can provide student results for the grade 8 tests on both the Maine/Measured Progress scale, and the PSAT/SAT scale.
Continuing to Serve Maine’s Educators and Students
With insight and dedication, Maine educators and the Department of Education outlined a vision for a forward-looking assessment program. We’re extremely happy that we were chosen to fulfill that vision with eMPower Assessments. (See our press release.) Our mission has always been to create assessments that improve teaching and learning. Our goals and values have been compatible with the Maine Department of Education’s approach for more than 30 years, and we look forward to continuing to work together.
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