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MEA's Positions on Opting Out of Standardized Testing and Assessments

January 31, 2015 - Maine Education Association Position on Opting Out of Standardized Testing

MEA believes:

  • Parents in Maine deserve the opportunity and choice to opt their public school students out of high-stakes standardized assessments.
  • School districts must be required to provide all parents with yearly, written information fully explaining their right to opt out students from high-stakes assessments.
  • Students who opt out of high-stakes assessments will not be included in data used by state or federal entities in "grading schools", determining a school's success or failure, or other punitive measures.
  • No parent or student should be treated in any punitive way based on the parental decision to remove a student from high-stakes standardized assessments.
  • The importance of educator open dialogue is essential in the parent and educator relationship as a trusted community leader. No educator should be disciplined in any school or district for discussing with students, parents or community members, options for opting students out of high-stakes standardized assessment whether in individual conversations, parent/teacher conferences, community meetings, or any other social or professional conversation, and that the rights of free speech apply in every situation in discussing student opt out options.

For more information or questions about high-stakes testing in Maine, e-mail

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


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