Maine students’ math performance declined for a fourth straight year last year, according to the latest batch of standardized test results released by the state Department of Education.
English results have fluctuated since the state began using its latest version of the Maine Educational Assessment, although students’ English scores were higher last school year than they were in 2015-16, the first school year with the current Maine Educational Assessment.
The standardized test is required under federal law, and a Department of Education spokeswoman cautioned against reading too much into students’ performance on the Maine Educational Assessment.
“The data is in no way reflective of individual student achievement, growth or potential, and should not be considered as the sole metric by which one would rate the learning within, or effectiveness of, any given school,” said Department of Education spokeswoman Kelli Deveaux.
Students take the standardized test in math and English in grades 3-8 and in grade 11.
Statewide last year, 35.6 percent of students performed at or above grade level in math, down from 38.3 percent in 2015-16. In English, 55.9 percent of students scored at or above grade level, compared with 50.6 four years earlier.
The three largest school districts in Maine — Portland, Lewiston and Bangor — roughly represent the top, middle and bottom of the spectrum of test results.
The percentage of students testing at or above grade level in Bangor for both English and math has been consistently higher than the state average for the past four years.
Last school year, 69.1 percent of Bangor students scored at or above grade level in English. In math, 52.4 percent of Bangor students met or exceeded the state standard.
Elsewhere in Greater Bangor, only two smaller school districts, Orono and Veazie, had a higher percentage of students than Bangor test at or above grade level in English and math.
“Bangor schools align local assessments with the types of questions on state and national assessments,” said Superintendent Betsy Webb. “Beginning in the early grades, all efforts are to ensure students ultimately are college-, career-, and life-ready upon graduation.”