Maine 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).

The test 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.