BRUNSWICK — Test scores released by the Maine Department of Education show Midcoast students slightly outperforming statewide results, while following the statewide trend of dipping scores in English and mathematics.

“This year the department has three years of data from the same assessments which will allow for measurement across multiple years,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. “The new trend lines will assist the Department in determining where support is needed to help increase student achievement across the state.”

This is the third straight year the state has used the same test, meaning that the tests can be used to track progress, or decline, in scores over time. The state has repeatedly changed what tests it uses to measure student performance in recent years, making it difficult to make year-by-year comparisons.

Prior to adopting the current “empower ME” test, developed by New Hampshire-based Measured Progress Inc., Maine had used the Smarter Balanced Test that was dropped by the Legislature after only a year, following complaints from parents and educators.

Percentage of Students At or Above State Expectations English language arts/literacy Mathematics Science
Brunswick Public Schools 57.47% 43.73% 67.69%
Georgetown Public Schools 59.02% 55.74% 61.90%
Harpswell Coastal Academy 32.94% 17.65% 42.86%
Lisbon Public Schools 38.21% 31.28% 53.28%
RSU 1 48.67% 35.56% 56.79%
RSU 5 63.89% 56.89% 78.10%
MSAD 75 52.80% 39.94% 67.30%
West Bath Public Schools 49.51% 44.23% 65.00%
Wiscasset Public Schools 39.39% 16.16% 56.63%

ENGLISH

Students at Georgetown Public Schools and RSU 5 bucked the statewide trend of declining results, showing improved English test scores over two years earlier.  RSU 5 topped Midcoast school districts with 64 percent of students scoring at or above state expectations, which is just .65 percent higher than two years prior. Georgetown Public Schools followed close behind with 59 percent — an increase of 20 percent since the test was first administered.

All other Midcoast school districts showed declines in the number of students meeting state expectations in English since the tests were first administered in the 2015-16 school year. Harpswell Coastal Academy had the lowest scores in English, with just 33 percent meeting expectations. While that was a decline of 6 percent from two years prior, it represents an increase of 16.40 percent over the previous year’s results.

Taken together, 53 percent of students tested in the Midcoast met state expectations, slightly higher than the statewide average of 50.24 percent.

MATH

Math results were mixed in the Midcoast, with about half of the districts reporting lower scores, and half reporting higher scores.

Wiscasset Public Schools demonstrated the worst scores in math, with just 16 percent meeting expectations — a decline of 33 percent from 2016-17 test scores. Harpswell Coastal Academy also showed lower test results, with 18 percent meeting expectations. That’s still a significant improvement from 2016-17, when only 6 percent of students met expectations.

Despite low results overall, Midcoast students outperformed statewide averages. According to the Maine Department of Education data, 41.4 percent of Midcoast students met expectations, compared to 37 percent statewide.

The only two Midcoast school districts with more than half of their students meeting expectations were Georgetown Public Schools and RSU 5, with 56 percent and 57 percent respectively.

SCIENCE

Midcoast schools had their best results on their science testing, with all but one school, Harpswell Coastal Academy, showing more than half of students meeting expectations.

RSU 5 had the highest scoring students, with 78 percent meeting expectations, up 17 percent since the tests were first administered.

65 percent of Midcoast students who were tested met or surpassed state expectations in science, more than six percentage points higher than the statewide average of about 59 percent.

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