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Maine DOE Thanks Maine Educators Serving on Multi-State Alternate Assessment Item Review Committee

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) wishes to thank the ten Maine educators who recently participated in the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) Item Review Committee in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

MSAA is Maine’s alternate assessment is based on alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAAS) in ELA/literacy and mathematics, for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who have been found eligible by the IEP Team.  As a partner in the MSAA Consortium, Maine engages actively in the ongoing development cycle of this assessment throughout the year. As a result of this collaboration, Maine’s students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in state assessment that has been designed with input from the same dedicated and expert Maine educators who serve this population every day.

During the Item Review Committee, Maine educators served on panels to review proposed items for the Spring 2023 MSAA.  Items were reviewed for both alignment to content and potential bias and sensitivity issues. Panelists also provided critical feedback on the accessibility of items across diverse student populations.  During this experience, Maine participants collaborated with educators from across the MSAA Partner Entities: TN, AZ, MT, DC, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department of Defense Schools, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The expertise of Maine educators is critical to the development of the state’s alternate assessments. Their engagement ensures that Maine continues to strive towards high standards and achievement for all Maine students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Many thanks to the following panelists for sharing their time and expertise during this review!

Abbey Trask, Special Education Administrator, Saco Public Schools Kelley Wallace, Special Educator, MSAD 17 Leora Byras, Maine DOE Special Services, Federal Monitoring Team Lisa Backman, Assistant Director of Special Education, Ellsworth Public Schools Mark Dennett, Special Educator, Augusta Public Schools Sue Hedrich, Special Educator, Lewiston Public Schools Morgan Brewer, Special Educator, Lincoln Academy Misty Favreau, Special Education Administrator, Lewiston Public Schools Michele Libby, Special Educator, Acton Elementary School Melanie Bowlus, Teacher of the Deaf, Maine Educational Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing