Standards & Assessments

Please note, state assessments and federal accountability for state assessments result in frequent changes in requirements.  The information on this page was prepared in April of 2015 and will be updated throughout the year.  Meanwhile, we will answer your individual questions as best we can. Please email


Q: Why is there so much attention on standards in schools, now?

A: Federal law requires that all states have academic standards.

Q: Which standards do Maine schools use?

A: Maine’s standards are the 2007 Maine Learning Results (with some updates)*

English Language Arts*


Social Studies

Science & Technology**

Health & Physical Education

Visual & Performing Arts

Foreign Languages

Career & Education

* Maine has adopted the Common Core standards for English Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking & listening, language) and Mathematics.

Q: Did the Common Core standards come from the federal government?

A: No! The federal government requires states to HAVE standards, but each state can determine what standards to use.

Like most states, Maine first tried to develop its own standards. The first version of the Maine Learning Results were published in 1997. Ask educators who were in the field then about the “purple book.” Heavily informed by employers and businesses, the standards were high and detailed what adults thought children at each grade level should know and be able to do. Unfortunately, in many cases that first set of standards were uneven in difficulty from grade to grade, and challenging to accurately assess. So in 2007 a revised set of Maine Learning Results were published.

However, looking ahead to the next revision, Maine joined many other states in adopting a set of standards developed by a group of experts in the field. Referred to as the “Common Core” these standards were the first attempt to develop progressions of learning based on research, that could be used by multiple states. Several drafts of the standards were revised based on feedback from parents, professionals, and faculty in K-12 and universities.


Q: What are the advantages of using nationally vetted standards?

A: It is a costly and complicated task to continually develop, update, and maintain standards one state at a time. Also, it is impossible to compare results of state assessments if each state is using different standards.

This is been a great advantage to Maine educators, as states with more funding have developed some quality instructional materials and resources that are available at no cost. Other advantages are consistency in expectations and language across schools.

Q: Where can I find more information about the Common Core Standards?       

Common Core Standards   – What Parents Should Know

3 Minute Video (in English or Spanish)

– Myths vs. Facts

Q: Are the Common Core Standards for Mathematics and Language Arts the only standards that have been developed by experts in the field from many states?

A: No. Experts in other subject areas have worked together to fund similar projects. For example, the Next Generation Science Standards are being widely used (unanimously recommended to be adopted by Maine by the Education Committee in the Maine Legislature this session but then vetoed by the Governor.)

Next Generation Science Standards – Frequently Asked Questions

                                    – 2 Minute Video

                                    – Less Memorization; More Sense-making


Standards guide the RSU #38 Model of Instruction.

The Board has charged the administrators and faculty with development of consistent rigorous curriculum resulting in high levels of student performance. To do so, faculty have carefully reviewed standards for relevance, rigor, and endurance. In most cases, if a current set of standards developed by experts in the field that has been “vetted” nationally or internationally is available, the faculty has chosen to use that set in place of the 2007 Maine standards. When available, a crosswalk is provided back to the older Maine standards.

Q: What if a student continues to struggle to meet grade level standards in math or reading?

A: FMI: RTI in RSU #38


In the RSU #38 curriculum, the focus is on the standards and outcomes (how students demonstrate a standard.) This is a little different from former curricular models in which the focus was on what was taught.


State Assessments:


MEA 17-18

       Math, Reading, and Writing

       Gr 3-8    3/19/18- 4/13/18

       SAT   (Gr 11)     4/10/18 (Tues)    Make-up 4/24/18

PSAT (Gr. 9-11)  10/11/17 (Weds)  Make-up 10/25/18

MSAA (Gr K-8,11)  (Alternative Math & ELA online) 3/19/18- 5/4/18

       SCIENCE    Grades 5 & 8                  4/23/18-5/4/18

                        Grade 11                         4/2/18- 4/13/18

District Assessments


Fall  (Gr. 3-10)  9/6/17 – 9/27/17

Winter (Gr. K-10)  1/3/18 -1/24/18

Spring (Gr. K-2)    5/8/18 – 5/25/18

Developmental Reading Inventory (K-5 – same weeks as NWEA)

Updated 8/15/17