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Common Core & Smarter Balanced Assessments

Maine Education Association Position on Common Core State Standards
Updated March 22, 2015

The Maine Education Association cannot fully support, at this time, the Maine Learning Results for English Language Arts and Mathematics (MLR/ELA/math), also known as Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

MEA believes that CCSS often lack developmental appropriateness and clarity. This resulted from the limited role of teachers and parents in the development of CCSS.

The MEA recognizes the hard work that teachers have done to implement the CCSS. Despite these efforts, there is disparity in the way the CCSS is being interpreted and implemented. There are also vast differences between districts in the funding, time, technology and professional development necessary for successful implementation of CCSS.

The use of CCSS resulted in the adoption of Smarter Balanced Assessments. MEA has concerns regarding the appropriateness and implementation of these assessments.

MEA recognizes that no set of standards is perfect and that implementation will require ongoing monitoring with periodic opportunities for revision and refinement by stakeholders.

The MEA believes the following actions by the state and local school districts are necessary:

  • re-evaluate CCSS as part of the Maine Learning Results in light of problems such as developmental appropriateness and lack of clarity;
  • include a full range of stakeholders in the vetting of such standards, adoption of new standards, or any changes to current standards;
  • establish a system for ongoing monitoring with immediate and periodic opportunities to revise and refine CCSS by a full range of stakeholders;
  • provide resources, technology, professional development, and support, for standards to be implemented successfully; and
  • provide sufficient time and training to ensure proper implementation of standards.

Maine Education Association Position on Assessment
Updated March 22, 2015

The Smarter Balanced Assessment, also known as Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy, which is intended to align with CCSS, has been adopted as a Maine high-stakes student assessment. MEA has several concerns with Smarter Balanced Assessments.

MEA believes the current overuse and misuse of high stakes standardized testing is detrimental to our students and public education.

MEA insists that students deserve well-designed assessment tools that test the information being taught. Testing is most useful when there is adequate time for learning between test administrations and when results are used to inform instruction.

MEA believes the use of results from high stakes standardized testing in grading the success of schools is unfair.

MEA believes that it is necessary to monitor Smarter Balanced administration and training. Periodic opportunities for open dialogue of the success and failure of administration of the test must be available to a full range of stakeholders.

MEA rejects the use of high stakes tests in teacher evaluation frameworks which do not inform instruction or truly measure student growth.

Learn more about Common Core and Smarter Balanced

MEA Benefits Trust

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