Liveblogging the Education Committee meeting today…



Commissioner Gendron suggested in testimony this morning that while student test scores in Maine had been “flat” for a number of years prior to 2006, they are currently on the rise.


A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education suggests that Maine is among the states that have seen scores increase on state tests because standards have been lowered, not because performance has increased.

Using data from the report, Education Week produced the following map showing the states that appear to have lowered their standards:

Edweek map.jpg
Data from state and national sources would seem to support the Department’s conclusion:

Scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, show the kind of flat scores the Commissioner mentioned:

Percent “At or Above Proficient” in 8th grade math:
2005 – 30%
2007 – 35%
2009 – 35%

Scores on Maine’s own MEA test, though, show score gains:

Percent that “Meets or Exceeds Standards” for 8th grade math:
2005 – 28%
2007 – 51%
2009 – 53%

The same is going on in 8th grade reading:

Percent “At or Above Proficient” in 8th grade reading on the U.S. NAEP test:
2003 – 37%
2005 – 38%
2007 – 37%

Percent that “Meets or Exceeds Standards” for 8th grade reading on the Maine MEA test:
2003 – 45%
2005 – 56%
2007 – 65%

So, scores on the Maine test are going up, but scores on the national test remain flat.

What is the real story here, one wonders…