Measured Progress Awarded Maine Statewide Assessment

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College Board SAT included in contract

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“Measured Progress fully understands Maine’s desire to offer an efficient, practical, statistically valid assessment, while cutting back on testing time." – Maine Acting Education Commissioner William H. Beardsley

The Maine Department of Education has awarded Measured Progress the contract for the 2015-16 Maine Educational Assessments (MEA) in mathematics and ELA/literacy for grades 3–8 and third-year high school.

Announcing the award, Maine Acting Education Commissioner William H. Beardsley acknowledged that the Request for Proposals (RFP) reflected the input of many educators across the state, including those who served on the Assessment Task Force. Further, Beardsley said the detailed proposal review process resulted in a solution that is “best for Maine’s students and educators.” Five companies submitted proposals in response to the RFP.

“Measured Progress is a tested partner with Maine, a valued relationship for over 30 years, and they are our neighbors and employ Maine residents,” Beardsley said. “Measured Progress fully understands Maine’s desire to offer an efficient, practical, statistically valid assessment, while cutting back on testing time.”

Aligned to Maine’s College and Career Readiness Standards, the MEA at grades 3–8 will be a program called eMPower Maine developed by Measured Progress. The MEA at the high school level will be the SAT, provided at no personal cost to all third-year high school students under the same contract.

eMPower Maine will use a variety of item types to yield meaningful information about what Maine students know and how they can apply that knowledge. To establish continuity, eMPower Maine provides some comparability to assessments administered in other states but with shorter testing time than previous assessments.

The eMPower Maine program also includes a unique feature for Maine students and educators: a predictive connection to the SAT, based on Measured Progress’s collaboration with the College Board. The grades 3–8 tests are anchored in the same foundational research as the SAT Suite of Assessments. Results of the eMPower Maine assessment at grade 8 are linked to the SAT scale, providing an early indicator of college and career readiness.

The College Board recently redesigned the SAT to better measure college and career readiness and to more closely reflect what students are learning in class. Changes to the exam include a focus on the areas of math that matter most for college and career readiness, a move away from obscure vocabulary words to the use of relevant words in context, and the elimination of the guessing penalty. As part of its contract with Measured Progress and the state of Maine, the College Board provides students taking the SAT with access to free, personalized online practice through Khan Academy.

The online testing platform for grades 3–8 will be provided by Measured Progress’s partner and industry expert, eMetric. eMetric’s end-to-end iTester delivery system has been effectively used in summative, interim/benchmark, and formative assessments in numerous states and districts. Measured Progress and eMetric have a well-established working relationship that has resulted in successful implementations for several statewide assessment contracts.

The new contract with Maine represents the next step in a longstanding collaboration between Maine and Measured Progress. “We are delighted to once again be working with the Maine Department of Education,” said Martin Borg, CEO of Measured Progress “Measured Progress and the Maine DOE have a 30-year relationship that began before the inception of The Maine Educational Assessment in 1985. Given our long and successful relationship, Maine is the ideal place to roll out our eMPower Assessments along with the SAT from the College Board.”

Together, eMPower Maine by Measured Progress and the SAT offer a coherent, aligned and comprehensive college- and career-ready assessment solution.

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Measured Progress, a not-for-profit organization, is a pioneer in authentic, standards-based assessments. Since 1983, we have successfully partnered with more than 30 states and hundreds of districts across the nation to support their assessment programs. Today, we develop 21st century assessments for classrooms, districts, states, and consortia. We are proud to be the nation’s leading provider of alternate assessments for students with cognitive disabilities.

Measured Progress connects the K–12 educational community with innovative and flexible assessment solutions. Our goal is to provide meaningful information about student progress to improve teaching and learning. It’s all about student learning. Period.

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Saul Hafenbredl
C. Blohm & Associates
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