Maine Education Project

The Maine Education Project explores student-centered learning from early childhood through college and beyond. The project is funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, which is working to encourage a transformation of public schools toward places that create learning opportunities to engage and inspire all students to meet challenging standards.

Spearheaded by Robbie Feinberg, education news producer, and Dave Boardman, education program coordinator, the project seeks stories about innovative learning in Maine’s classrooms and educational institutions and connects with the voices of students, educators and policymakers as they look at solutions to the challenges facing education today. We highlight the perspectives of students and educators, and provide curriculum resources for writing about education and finding success through our Raise Your Voice! initiative.

Have a story suggestion? Contact the team at MaineEducationProject@mainepublic.org.

Enrollment across the University of Maine System is up this fall, and officials say it's driven by a new financial aid program and a boost in high schoolers taking college classes.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Students across Maine can now be recognized for being proficient in multiple languages as part of a new initiative from the state’s Department of Education.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Between walkouts over gun violence and rallies protesting presidential nominees, young people have been particularly politically active in recent years. For college students, the push now is to turn that newfound civic engagement into turnout at the polls.

Maine Public File Photo

Video By Brian Bechard

This spring, Portland junior Tom Victor found himself in an unexpected location: 300 miles north of his home, outside an empty storefront in Millinocket.

The Maine Department of Education has received more than $5 million from the federal government to support student mental health in three school districts.

Lewiston High School via Facebook

Some Maine school districts have yet to receive funding to help support homeless students due to what the Department Of Education says is a "scoring issue." The issue has delayed the application process for schools to receive thousands of dollars in federal grant funds.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Maine’s School Revolving Renovation Fund was established some 20 years ago to help districts face the challenges of fixing aging schools, which have made tough choices due to years of underfunding. But that fund has yet to reach its financial goals, and now has little money left.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Many of Maine’s school buildings were built more than 50 years ago, and they need a lot of work: asbestos and lead removal, new roofs, windows and doors. But in the face of budget cuts after the Great Recession, many schools have struggled to keep up with those maintenance needs, forcing some districts to make tough choices.

Maine’s State Board of Education approved a new kind of regional high school this week that would merge three existing schools and also bring in vocational programs, business training and higher education into one facility in northern Aroostook County.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In the wake of the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year, schools across Maine are taking steps to respond and increasing security measures.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

With aging buildings and changes in population, school districts around Maine are planning and building more modern campuses. But some of the projects have encountered an unexpected obstacle: a sharp increase in cost, as competition and a shortage of labor have led some project costs to increase by 30 percent or more.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Summer school is changing — it used to be the place where high schoolers made up failed classes, but some districts have doubled summer enrollment in recent years.

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.

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