LEWISTON — It may not disappoint teachers and administrators, but the Maine Department of Education’s school report cards will not go out next spring.

Schools won’t get their A, B, C, D or F grades because assessments are changing.

Achievement tests for elementary school students used to be given every October, which really got on the nerves of some superintendents because one month into the school year was a poor time to test, they said. The summer “brain drain,” studies show, is a lot worse for lower-income families, since those children have less access to enriching summer experiences.

Students will be tested in the spring, which means the school report cards will probably come out in the fall, as soon as the data is available, Maine Department of Education spokeswoman Samantha Warren said.

Another change this year is that high school juniors will not take the SAT early on a Saturday morning; it will be given in the daytime on April 15. The makeup day will be April 29.

That should help reduce the number of students who don’t show up to take the test because it’s being held on a Saturday. High schools have lost a whole letter grade because they had less than 95 percent of students showing up for the Saturday SAT.

For more information, go to http://maine.gov/doe/assessment/index.html.

— Bonnie Washuk

Get-out-early night for Rumford government class

RUMFORD — Several Mountain Valley High School students in teacher Chris Carver’s government class attended the Rumford selectmen meeting Thursday night.

Vice Chairman Jeff Sterling introduced the students seated in near the back of the Rumford auditorium.

“I’d just like to welcome Mr. Carver’s government class here tonight,” he said. “It’s a very short agenda, so you picked a good one to come to if you wanted to leave early. If you wanted some spirited debate, it’s probably not the best one to come to, so welcome.”

Selectmen always recognize the classes when they attend meetings, which typically last from 90 minutes to three hours. The board also must sign the students’ papers to verify they attended the meeting.

The agenda was sparse and two members were absent, so the meeting was over in a record 17 minutes.

One audience member said it was so quick, he hadn’t even warmed up yet from walking in from the cold.

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