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

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.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

This year's class of high school freshmen will be the first to graduate with a new kind of diploma three years from now in Maine. To get it, they will have to show proficiency in a number of subjects. We've been following the transition to this new system at a small rural high school near Lewiston in a series we're calling, "Lessons from Oak Hill."

One of the most controversial changes has been replacing the traditional A-through-F grading system, and pushback from critics has already led some districts to respond.

Deering High School

On Tuesday morning, 19-year-old Allan Monga of Westbrook stepped onstage in the first round of the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C. He took a breath, exhaled, and recited W.E.B. Dubois’ 1907 poem, “The Song of the Smoke.”

If it wasn’t for a federal judge’s ruling, that performance likely wouldn’t have happened, because while Monga won Maine’s Poetry Out Loud competition last month, he wasn’t considered eligible for the national finals because of his immigration status.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The legislature may have adjourned Thursday morning, but some educators and parents still have hope that the House and Senate will eventually act on a bill removing a state mandate for schools to implement "proficiency-based diplomas." It is unclear what effects such a change would have on local schools.

Deering High School

A federal judge says that a Portland student seeking asylum from Zambia can participate in a national poetry competition after he was initially barred by organizers due to his immigration status.

Maine Arts Commission

A student from from Portland's Deering High School took his case against the National Endowment for the Arts to a federal judge in Portland Wednesday.

After months of debate, the legislature's education committee approved a bill Friday evening that would remove a mandate requiring Maine schools to implement "proficiency-based" diplomas. 

The law mandating the diplomas was originally passed in 2012. It says that current Maine freshmen need to reach proficiency in a number of subject areas, such as math, science and English, in order to graduate.

Maine Arts Commission

A student at Portland's Deering High School has filed a lawsuit against the National Endowment for the Arts over its decision to ban him from competing in a national poetry competition because of his status as an asylum seeker.

Deering High School Junior Allan Monga recited three poems in last month's state Poetry Out Loud competition. This one, "The Song of the Smoke" first published by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1907, is an affirmation of black pride.

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