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 through our Raise Your Voice! initiative.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

University of Maine at Presque Isle

While more high school students in Maine are going on to college these days, they’re taking their time to graduate.

The word “expulsion” probably brings to mind disruptive high-schoolers. But in fact, many children are expelled as early as preschool. New research shows that in Maine, nearly a quarter of childcare centers have expelled a child in the past year.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

While school funding is at the center of public debate right now, educators are wrestling with another problem, too: how to measure student success.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

It’s a two-word phrase that’s music to the ears of schoolkids across Maine: “snow day”. The rush to catch the bus turns instead to plans of sledding, making snowmen or just relaxing.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Over the past 15 years, Portland Public Schools have undergone a major transformation. While enrollment has fallen, the percentage of black and African youth has increased by more than 150 percent, due to an influx of refugees and immigrants.

That presents new challenges for educators, but the district has adopted a new approach to help make schools more welcoming to students of color.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

One of the biggest stories of this election cycle was the rise of “fake news” — false news stories that look real but aren’t. They often go viral on social media, and some say they helped influence the election.

While many social media sites are trying to stop the spread, Maine educators are stepping up, too, helping students differentiate between fact and fiction.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Many educators point to 9th grade as a crucial year for students. New studies show that freshmen have the lowest GPAs and lowest attendance of any high school grade level.

jariceiii / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ten years ago, Deer Isle-Stonington High School was considered one of the worst schools in the state, as measured by the dozens of students who were dropping out and heading to work on the water. But today, more students in this Down East fishing community are staying in school and graduating.

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