Superintendents give update on standardized testing

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 11:38 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Standardized tests measure what students are learning in school. With students remote learning and social distancing during the pandemic standardized testing was put on hold. Now that schools are returning to more normal operation, schools are moving to a new standardized test. Continuing with our superintendent series, tonight we hear how some of the testing has changed. Here’s Megan Cole with more.

When the pandemic hit, standardized tests were put on hold. Now a little over a year later, changes are being made and standardized tests are coming back

“The new standardized test in the state of Maine is gonna be is the NWEA which is a test that our students have been taking throughout the…you know throughout their educational careers usually at each grade level they take it and typically students take it 3 times a year and its based on growth and improvement and it provides immediate feedback so we were pleased to hear that this was gonna be our new test it was something that we were doing already where the state has chose to move away from the MEA which is a once a year test.”

“We’ve always used NWEA and will continue to use it we are gonna be testing statewide this year with NWEA it’s the new testing platform so we’re very comfortable that’s normally how we test anyway so we’re not really nervous with these standardized test I’m a little nervous if if we’re not in person and a student has to do it remotely that does make me a little nervous especially with the younger ages when you look at 3-8 but at least it’s a NWEA that’s been fairly consistent in most maine schools as a testing platform.”

“It’s more of a progress monitoring tool it’s a diagnostic test so basically any student who starts answering questions on the assessment, the assessment grows based on how the student do on the previous question if I get the question wrong it moves back a little bit into previous skills if I get the question right it moves up to some harder skills.”

“We will be participating in the NWEA testing this spring you know personally speaking I think this that the NWEA is a really positive step for Maine, especially for students in school because the test is adaptive in nature, student get their scores immediately and there’s ample time for staff to really plan and look at skill gaps and try to really plan and structure accordingly.”

“We’re gonna be using that so the SAT isn’t gonna be required like it has been in the past it’s not the state test for the juniors so we are gonna make that optional so that if they wanna take it they can but they don’t have to because everyone’s gonna be taking the NWEA at least at the high school level and then also in grades 3-8.”

“We already use the NWEA with our students so we’re very familiar with it, our staff familiar with the format we do a round of fall testing, winter testing and spring to check for growth and progression for our kids for us it was great news because it’s something we already use. "

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