Statistics released by the Maine Department of Education for the 2016-2017 Maine Education Assessment testing in the content areas of mathematics, English Language Arts/literacy, and science show that student academic performance has improved or remained stable. FILE PHOTO

Statistics released by the Maine Department of Education for the 2016-2017 Maine Education Assessment testing in the content areas of mathematics, English Language Arts/literacy, and science show that student academic performance has improved or remained stable. FILE PHOTO

YORK COUNTY — It seems thar every year, some new educational theory comes into play that promises to help students learn better and quicker and is a helpful tool to track academic achievement and progress.

But other than the grades given by teachers, studies have consistently shown that a combination of classroom work and comprehensive testing is the best predicton of a student’s mastery of a subject.

Since 2011, the Maine Department of Education put in place new learning standards for English Language Arts/literacy and mathematics and the department has assisted schools with instructional support to implement new and more rigorous standards geared for student success.

One of the tools created to help gauge student progress is the Maine Educational Assessment, which gives educators a baseline to measure how effectively standards are met by students and how strategies to teach critical thinking and problem solving are working.  

Earlier this month, the Maine Department of Education released the results of the 2016-2017 Maine Education Assessment in the content areas of mathematics, English Language Arts/literacy, and science.  

And there’s good news for schools in Maine, in all content areas, academic performance has improved or remained stable.

“I am encouraged with how well our students are performing. In 2016-2017, students were assessed for the third time on the rigorous standards Maine adopted in 2011 and while participation rates remained high, students showed consistent improvement,” said Robert G. Hasson, Jr., Maine Department of Education Commissioner. “This is a true testament to the hard work and determination of our students and their teachers.”

Hasson said that with two years of data from the same assessments, this is the first opportunity since 2013 that Maine educators have been able to compare results over two years in mathematics and ELA/literacy and those results are encouraging.

He said in In ELA/Literacy, 52.58 percent of Maine students scored at or above state expectations,  a notable improvement over the 50.58 percent in the same area in 2015-2016.

According to Hasson, in Mathematics, 38.54 percent of Maine students scored at or above state expectations which is a slight improvement over the 38.31 percent registed by students in 2015-2016.

In Science testing, 61.07 percent of Maine students scored at or above state expectations, also a slight improvement over 60.97 percent in 2015-2016, Hasson said.

The number of students exempted from the annual state assessment because of special considerations such as a serious medical condition was reduced by about half from the testing in 2015-2016 to 2016-2017, he said.

Participation rates in all subjects were greater than 95, Hasson said.

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 ext. 326 or by email at [email protected] 


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