Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

MeCas > NECAP

New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP)

NECAP Transition to the Common Core - PDF

Overview

Maine has joined New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont in the yearly development and administration of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP). This assessment is used by participating states to meet No Child Left Behind Act requirements for testing reading and mathematics once each year from grade 3 through grade 8. The states also include a writing assessment administered at grades 5 and 8. The first NECAP administration in Maine began in October 2009.

NECAP assesses the learning of NECAP Grade Level Expectations (GLEs), which are located at the NECAP Standards link located to the left.

NECAP is designed to assess learning from the prior year (teaching year) at the beginning of the next school year (testing year). Therefore, grades 2-7 reading and mathematics are assessed at the beginning of grades 3-8. Fourth and 7th grade writing is assessed at the beginning of grades 5 and 8. Maine’s personalized alternate assessment program (PAAP) will now be provided for students in grades 2-7.

The NECAP testing window begins on October 1st or the first school day following October 1st each year and is approximately 3 weeks long. Assessment reports are released during the fourth week of the following January.

Test Design

Most content area tests consist of a combination of multiple-choice (1 point) and constructed-response (4 points) questions. The mathematics sessions also include short-answer questions worth 1 or 2 points, but do not include constructed-response items at grades 3 or 4. Writing sessions also include one extended-response prompt (12 points), in addition to the multiple-choice and constructed-response questions.

Students’ scores are based on 52 points in reading, 65 or 66 points in mathematics (depending on grade level), and 34 points in writing. Students are allowed up to 100% extra time to complete the test. Test and answer booklets are integrated for grades 3 and 4.

Released NECAP test items from the last several years are located at the “Released Items” link located to the left.

NECAP student results will be reported in one of four achievement levels:

    • Proficient with Distinction: Students performing at this level demonstrate the prerequisite knowledge and skills needed to participate and excel in instructional activities aligned with the GLE at the current grade level. Errors made by these students are few and minor and do not reflect gaps in prerequisite knowledge and skills.
    • Proficient: Students performing at this level demonstrate minor gaps in the prerequisite knowledge and skills needed to participate and perform successfully in instructional activities aligned with the GLE at the current grade level. It is likely that any gaps in prerequisite knowledge and skills demonstrated by these students can be addressed during the course of typical classroom instruction.
    • Partially Proficient: Students performing at this level demonstrate gaps in prerequisite knowledge and skills needed to participate and perform successfully in instructional activities aligned with the GLE at the current grade level. Additional instructional support may be necessary for these students to meet grade level expectations.
    • Substantially Below Proficient: Students performing at this level demonstrate extensive and significant gaps in prerequisite knowledge and skills needed to participate and perform successfully in instructional activities aligned with the GLE at the current grade level. Additional instructional support is necessary for these students to meet grade level expectations.

Specific achievement level definitions for each content area are as follows:

READING

Proficient with Distinction: Student’s performance demonstrates an ability to read and comprehend grade-appropriate text. Student is able to analyze and interpret literary and informational text. Student offers insightful observations/assertions that are well supported by references to the text. Student uses range of vocabulary strategies and breadth of vocabulary knowledge to read and comprehend a wide variety of texts.

 

Proficient: Student’s performance demonstrates an ability to read and comprehend grade-appropriate text. Student is able to analyze and interpret literary and informational text. Student makes and supports relevant assertions by referencing text. Student uses vocabulary strategies and breadth of vocabulary knowledge to read and comprehend text.

 

Partially Proficient: Student’s performance demonstrates an inconsistent ability to read and comprehend grade-appropriate text. Student attempts to analyze and interpret literary and informational text. Student may make and/or support assertions by referencing text. Student’s vocabulary knowledge and use of strategies may be limited and may impact the ability to read and comprehend text.

 

Substantially Below Proficient: Student’s performance demonstrates minimal ability to derive/construct meaning from grade appropriate text. Student may be able to recognize story elements and text features. Student’s limited vocabulary knowledge and use of strategies impacts the ability to read and comprehend text.

 

MATHEMATICS

Proficient with Distinction: Student’s problem solving demonstrates logical reasoning with strong explanations that include both words and proper mathematical notation. Student’s work exhibits a high level of accuracy, effective use of a variety of strategies, and an understanding of mathematical concepts within and across grade level expectations. Student  demonstrates the ability to move from concrete to abstract representations.

 

Proficient: Student’s problem solving demonstrates logical reasoning with appropriate explanations that include both words and proper mathematical notation. Student uses a variety of strategies that are often systematic. Computational errors do not interfere with communicating understanding. Student demonstrates conceptual understanding of most aspects of the grade level expectations.

 

Partially Proficient: Student’s problem solving demonstrates logical reasoning and conceptual understanding in some, but not all, aspects of the grade level expectations. Many problems are started correctly, but computational errors may get in the way of completing some aspects of the problem. Student uses some effective strategies. Student’s work demonstrates that he or she is generally stronger with concrete than abstract situations.

 

Substantially Below Proficient: Student’s problem solving is often incomplete, lacks logical reasoning and accuracy, and shows little conceptual understanding in most aspects of the grade level expectations. Student is able to start some problems but computational errors and lack of conceptual understanding interfere with solving problems successfully.

 

WRITING

Proficient with Distinction: Student’s writing demonstrates an ability to respond to prompt/task with clarity and insight. Focus is well developed and maintained throughout response. Response demonstrates use of strong organizational structures. A variety of elaboration strategies is evident. Sentence structures and language choices are varied and used effectively. Response demonstrates control of conventions; minor errors may occur.

 

Proficient: Student’s writing demonstrates an ability to respond to prompt/task. Focus is clear and maintained throughout the response. Response is organized with a beginning, middle and end with appropriate transitions. Details are sufficiently elaborated to

support focus. Sentence structures and language use are varied. Response demonstrates control of conventions; errors may occur but do not interfere with meaning.

 

Partially Proficient: Student’s writing demonstrates an attempt to respond to prompt/task. Focus may be present but not maintained. Organizational structure is inconsistent with limited use of transitions. Details may be listed and lack elaboration. Sentence

structures and language use are unsophisticated and may be repetitive. Response demonstrates inconsistent control of conventions.

 

Substantially Below Proficient: Student’s writing demonstrates a minimal response to prompt/task. Focus is unclear or lacking. Little or no organizational structure is evident. Details are minimal and/or random. Sentence structures and language use are minimal or absent. Frequent errors in conventions may interfere with meaning.