Robbie Feinberg

Education News Producer

Robbie grew up in New Hampshire, but has since written stories for radio stations from Washington, DC, to a fishing village in Alaska. Robbie graduated from the University of Maryland and got his start in public radio at the Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Before arriving at Maine Public Radio, he worked in the Midwest, where he covered everything from beer to migrant labor for public radio station WMUK in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Ways to Connect

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Teacher strikes in Oklahoma and West Virginia this year have put educators in the political spotlight, and some of that energy appears to have spread to Maine. After years of conflict over school funding and educational mandates, more than a dozen current and former teachers are running for office this fall.

With the same energy that she used to bring to her classroom, Jan Dodge is spending a Tuesday afternoon knocking on doors in her hometown of Belfast.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Four months ago, hundreds of students across Maine walked out of their schools, joining others across the country in memorializing the victims of the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla. and to advocate for gun control.

Maine Public

Students in Maine will no longer be required to graduate under new, "proficiency-based" diplomas.

Gov. Paul LePage Friday signed a bill into law repealing the state's diploma mandate, which originally went into effect six years ago.

Under the old law, Maine students, beginning in the class of 2021, would have been required to reach "proficiency" in up to eight subject areas in order to graduate. However, teachers and parents criticized the policy, saying it was too demanding for educators and wouldn't allow some students to graduate.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

As Maine's population has grown older, the number of school-aged children has declined, forcing some communities to close schools that have been social anchors for years. One recent school closure may serve to reflect the challenges faced by Maine's rural communities.

UNE.edu

Most students applying for admission to the University of New England will no longer need to submit standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT, beginning in the fall of 2019.

The Biddeford-based school follows in the footsteps of dozens of others that have adopted "test-optional" admissions policies over the past four years.

Dean of Admissions Scott Steinberg says UNE has found that high school grades predict college success far better than standardized tests.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Over the course of the past school year, we've followed the implementation of Maine’s proficiency-based diploma law through the lens of students and staffers at Oak Hill High School, near Lewiston. 

The Maine Girls' Academy has announced that it will shut its doors later in July.

The Portland-based school, which is the only all-girls private school in the state, announced the decision Thursday on its website.

The academy's board chair, Heidi Osborn, says the decision ultimately came down to declining enrollment and revenue. She says only 91 girls were enrolled at the school last year.

"We just ran out of runway to turn it into a successful and sustainable school."

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The University of Southern Maine has received a collection of nearly half a million maps — an estimated $100 million gift that is believed to be the largest in the history of the University of Maine System.

The collection of more than 450,000 rare maps comes from Dr. Harold Osher, a cardiologist from Portland. The Osher family has previously donated many maps to the university and helped establish the Osher Map Library in 1994.

Family spokesperson Glenn Parkinson said the Oshers hope the collection is used to enhance educational opportunities for local students.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Three years from now, high school seniors in Maine will have to demonstrate proficiency in math, English, science and other core subjects in order to graduate. 

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Across Maine, thousands of high school seniors are graduating and preparing for the next chapter in their lives. But for many, particularly students in rural Maine, the future is uncertain. Graduating seniors in the western Maine town of Rumford told Maine Public how they imagine their own futures, and whether that future might include returning to their hometown.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

More high school students in Maine are graduating today as compared to 5 or 10 years ago, but many are still being left behind — some are teen parents, others have been bullied, have experienced trauma or struggle with anxiety. One central Maine charter school is trying to reach those students by bringing school into their homes.

Maine Public

Officials from Portland Public Schools are telling the community that they will not report students to immigration enforcement officials, and say their schools are a "safe haven" for children and families.

In a written message to families last week, Portland Supt. Xavier Botana said, "We want your children in our schools. We don't care what their immigration status is. And we believe that that's not just the right thing to do, but that's also the law."

Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

A growing number of parents in Maine are opting against having their school-aged children vaccinated against disease.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The number of young people in Maine has been declining for decades. The trend concerns many independent and private town academies in the state. Some have lost up to a quarter of their students over the last ten years. 

Pygoya / Flickr

Tuition and room and board at Maine's public universities could be going up by almost 3 percent next fall. That's according to proposed budget numbers reviewed by the University of Maine System's finance committee on Tuesday.

Under the new budget, in-state students would pay almost $18,000 in tuition, fees, room and board, about $500 more per student than last year. University spokesperson Dan Demeritt says the proposed increase is needed to maintain programs and keep up with inflation across the university system's seven campuses.

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