Students in local school districts generally outperformed their counterparts throughout Maine in recently released standardized test results — none more so than York students, who vaulted ahead of the statewide average.
Maine Department of Education officials said this year’s results of the New England Common Assessment Program were tepid as best, with most Maine student scores flatlining or even declining from the 2012-13 school year.
That assessment is generally true of year-to-year results among students attending Kittery and School Administrative District 35 (Eliot and South Berwick) schools.
York improved its scores from 2012-13 to 2013-14.
The NECAPs test students in Grades 3-8 in math and reading, and students in Grades 5 and 8 in writing. The results released this week arise out of tests taken last October.
This is the last time the NECAPs will be given. Next year, all Maine schools move to the Common Core State Standards, an effort to establish consistent educational standards in math and English/language arts across the country.
The next time such a standardized test will be given, in the spring of 2015, it will reflect the success of schools in integrating Common Core standards.
According to the DOE, the per-pupil cost for regular instruction is $5,083 in Kittery, $4,737 in SAD 35, $6,010 in York and $4,713 for the state.
What is NECAP?
Maine had joined New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont in the yearly development and administration of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP). This assessment is used by participating states to meet No Child Left Behind Act requirements for testing reading and mathematics once each year from grade 3 through grade 8. The states also include a writing assessment administered at grades 5 and 8. The first NECAP administration in Maine began in October 2009.
NECAP assesses the learning of NECAP Grade Level Expectations (GLEs), which are located at the NECAP Standards link located to the left.
NECAP is designed to assess learning from the prior year (teaching year) at the beginning of the next school year (testing year). Therefore, grades 2-7 reading and mathematics are assessed at the beginning of grades 3-8. Fourth and 7th grade writing is assessed at the beginning of grades 5 and 8. Maine’s personalized alternate assessment program (PAAP) will now be provided for students in grades 2-7.
The NECAP testing window begins on October 1st or the first school day following October 1st each year and is approximately 3 weeks long. Assessment reports are released during the fourth week of the following January.