Change Indicator

Fourth-grade reading in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Reading skills are foundational tools for future learning and success of students. Students who are proficient in reading by the end of third grade are more likely to graduate from high school, pursue post-secondary education, earn more as adults and successfully transition into adulthood.

See also the Casey Foundation Report Why Reading Matters

What the Data Shows
For the years 2016-2019,  the most recent year 2019 was the year with the highest scores statewide, with 56.2% testing at or above state expectations. At the county level, in 2019, Cumberland County had the highest rate of 65.7% at or above state expectations, followed by Washington County at 61.7%.
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Definition and Source



Children in Maine public schools in grades 3-8  take standardized assessment tests each spring in reading, math and other subjects. These tests are called MEA's. Grade 4 reading was selected as an indicator because at that grade level students are reading to learn, as opposed to learning to read. The number is the number of students in the county's public schools who took the test and achieved a level of "at or above state expectations" as opposed to "Below or well below state expectations." The rate is the number of students who scored "at or above expectations" divided by the number of students who took the test.


The year is the spring of the school year, so, for example, 2019 refers to the school year of 2018-2019.
Due to Covid-19, the test was not administered in the 2019-2020 school year. The new test that the state of Maine administers as of 2020-2021 is not normed to answer the question "what percent of students reading proficiently. "This indicator remains on the site because we expect that this issue will be resolved in the future.

Last Updated

April 2020