Academic Achievement

Relative to other states, student performance in Maine is above average. Fourth graders stand 5% above the national average of 42% in the percentage at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam.

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Maine earns a solid grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Thirty-two percent of low-income 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam. The national average is 25%. Because the state does not have a large enough Hispanic student population to meet NAEP sampling requirements, Maine’s grade is based solely on low-income and African-American students. 

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Maine is high relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Maine posts above average marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Maine earns a very high grade preparing its students for college and careers. Eighty-seven percent of 9th graders receive a diploma in four years, and 22 students out of 100 pass an AP exam. 

21st Century Teacher Force

Maine does a mediocre job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The Pine Tree State largely fails to identify effective teachers and remove ineffective ones, but it is middling at retaining effective teachers.

Parental Options

Maine does a good job providing parents with strong school choice options. It has a very strong charter school law that permits a variety of providers, as well as a small school choice program. 

Data Quality

Maine earns an excellent grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. It funded and built a longitudinal data system, and it provides parents with data to track their children’s academic progress.


Maine receives a poor grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. Students have some access to high-quality digital learning options, but the state could continue to improve how it assesses and funds providers.   

International Competitiveness

Maine earns a high grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Thirty-six percent of students are proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard. Almost 12 students out of 100 pass an AP STEM exam.

Fiscal Responsibility

Maine receives very high marks on fiscal responsibility. Seventy-nine percent of its pension is funded, and the state’s most recent pension contribution was 100%.