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

Parents, students and community members from across Lewiston shared their grief in an emotional meeting Thursday night following the suicide of a 13-year-old student.

The mood was somber inside Lewiston’s Green Ladle, where about 200 residents gathered to talk about the death of 13-year-old Anie Graham earlier in the week.

Some students said they wanted everyone to remember Graham for who she was — bright and accomplished — while others said the community needs to do a better job supporting students who might be at risk.

Thomas College

This month, college seniors from across Maine will walk across the stage to accept their diplomas — most after four or more years of classes. For more and more students, however, graduation day will come much sooner, a trend designed to make college more appealing and affordable.

In Lewiston, school administrators are reaching out to parents and families in the wake of the sudden death of a Lewiston Middle School student on Tuesday.

According to police, the student’s death was reported early on Tuesday morning. Officials have yet to release the cause of death, but school administrators are sending information home about how to help students through grief and crisis.

According to media reports, students protested outside Lewiston Middle School on Wednesday and said staff members needed to better address bullying within the school.

Every year, kids in Maine schools have to take all kinds of standardized tests, each with its own acronym — MEA, SAT, NWEA. Students who are still in the process of learning English have to take a test called the ACCESS for ELLs, or “English language learners,” which gauges English proficiency in other subjects, such as science and math.

Maine’s standard for this test is the highest in the country, and some teachers believe it’s hurting students emotionally and academically.

Courtesy United Technologies Center

On both the state and national level, there has been a call for increased emphasis on career and technical education, or CTE. The intent is to teach more students skills such as business management, manufacturing and computer science.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Stearns High School in Millinocket made national headlines six years ago for how it responded to declining enrollment and a shrinking budget — it decided to bring in students from other countries through the F-1 visa program to fill in the gaps.

A new report finds that students in Maine are restrained and secluded within their schools approximately 13,000 times per year. Educational advocates want to see reforms at the state level to bring those numbers down.

Educators spoke out against a bill Wednesday that would allow computer programming to count as a foreign language under the state’s education laws.

Language teachers from across Maine packed the Legislature to oppose the bill. Charles Hicks, a French teacher at SAD 49 in Fairfield, says that computer coding can’t teach students about human interaction and culture.

“Let me ask you this,” he says. “Can a student go to a coding country and spend a week or two eating coding food and listening to coding music? No.”

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Right now, high school seniors around Maine are waiting nervously for their acceptance letters from colleges. And their chances depend in part on grades.

The Maine Education Association has voted against the concept of a statewide teacher contract, delivering a blow to a policy that’s been heavily pushed by Gov. Paul LePage.

MEA President Lois Kilby-Chesley says the teachers’ union’s board of directors voted against a statewide contract partly because of policy differences, including that her organization didn’t want pieces of the contract to be split up between the state and local districts.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public file photo

Under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, the federal Department of Education would see a drastic cut in almost every area except for one: it would add more than $1 billion in funding for “school choice.” That new emphasis has many educators in rural Maine concerned.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In classrooms, there has long been an assumption that students need to be still, calm and attentive to learn. But more and more, researchers are finding that attitude could actually be harming many students.

In his budget proposal released earlier this year, Gov. Paul LePage vowed to drastically transform how schools are funded. The most notable change was the removal of roughly $40 million that the state gives local districts to help pay the salaries of administrators.

In his State of the State address, LePage hammered home the point that he thinks there are far too many administrators in Maine’s schools. Most notably, he pointed to the more than 100 school superintendents across the state.

E'nkul Kanakan / Portland Empowered (courtesy photo)

For someone new to Maine, particularly if they have come from another country or speak a different language, education is an opportunity. But it can be intimidating. The academics are challenging, but what’s tougher for many students and their families is the language barrier.

Courtesy of Page Lennig

It’s budget season for school districts across the state, which are grappling with a funding proposal from Governor Paul LePage that would cut state funding by about $20 million compared to last year, and shift administrative costs back to the schools.

Pages